Manafort Lawyers Seek To Move Trial

Pauline Gross
July 9, 2018

Manafort was jailed in June after a federal judge revoked his house arrest over allegations of witness tampering in Mueller's investigation.

"Reviewing these articles, one is hard pressed to find any that are not unfavorable to Mr. Manafort", the defense lawyers say.

Assistant special counsel Scott Meisler fired back with a filing Thursday that said the appeal notion should be denied, as Manafort's actions were "committed through covert corrupt persuasion" and his sentence terms "are common to defendants incarcerated pending trial".

All the charges against the former Trump campaign chairman stem from his work for the Ukrainian government long before the president entered the White House race.

Manafort also requested that the court use a jury questionnaire, that potential jurors face a preliminary questioning about Manafort, and a "substantial increase" in the number of potential jurors summoned for the trial.

While the senior executive is unnamed in this filing, in a previous court filing prosecutors identified Lender D as The Federal Savings Bank.

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A spokeswoman for Federal Savings did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday. Trump has also downplayed the charges against Manafort, saying they are unrelated to his time on the campaign. The charges don't relate to the core focus of the Mueller investigation - potential coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation - and prosecutors said in a court filing that they do not intend to raise allegations of collusion.

The former Trump campaign chairman's attorneys filed court documents this week claiming Manafort is unable to adequately prepare for his two upcoming trials while jailed, reported New York Magazine.

They also argued that potential jurors in the area are more likely to be opponents of President Donald Trump and likely to associate Manafort with the President. Three others - George Papadopoulos, Michael Flynn and Rick Gates - had pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with investigators.

Manafort has reportedly been jailed since June 15 in the "VIP" section of Virginia's Northern Neck Regional Jail.

The lawyers say Manafort is locked in a jail cell in Virginia for 23 hours a day, excluding visits from his attorneys, and has been in solitary confinement because the facility can't guarantee his safety.

But they are appealing Judge Amy Berman Jackson's decision to send him to jail.

Other reports by GizPress

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