Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Ex-Trump campaign manager Manafort seeks to move trial

Beleaguered ex Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort spends 23 hours per day in solitary confinement Paul Manafort arrives for a hearing at U.S. District Court on June 15 in Washington D.C
Deanna Wagner | 09 July, 2018, 05:33

The legal team for Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, asked a federal judge to move the trial from Alexandria, Virginia, to Roanoke, Virginia, about 240 miles away.

Manafort's attorneys asked a federal judge on Friday to move the trial from Alexandria, Virginia, to Roanoke, Virginia, arguing that a change of venue was necessary for his Sixth Amendment right to trial by an impartial jury, the New York Times reported.

His lawyers also claim a deferment is needed to compensate for time lost during his detention.

Manafort has pleaded not guilty to more than 20 charges in the special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation, including tax and bank fraud, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and failure to register as a foreign agent.

"In fact, the amount of media coverage of the Special Counsel's investigations is astounding".

Manafort's lawyer said Thursday he was being held in his cell 23 hours per day to "guarantee his safety" and can not adequately prepare for his upcoming trial later this month.

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Voters in the Alexandria area voted 2-1 in favor of Trump's opponent, Hillary Clinton, in 2016, the defense said.

Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort departs from U.S. District Court in Washington, DC, U.S., February 28, 2018. The jail is about a two-hour drive from Washington.

The trial in Alexandria is set to begin July 25. Plus, prosecutors are still turning over evidence that Manafort may use to prepare his defense, including electronic data from his longtime deputy Rick Gates, who pleaded guilty in DC federal court and agreed to assist prosecutors. A representative for the US attorney's office for the Eastern District of Virginia also did not respond to a request for comment. Ellis made clear last week that Manafort's team wouldn't get a hearing on government leak accusations they've made before the trial, although it's possible a pretrial conference could be added to the schedule. He is also scheduled to go on trial in September in a separate case in Washington.

Defence lawyers earlier said that Manafort was locked in a jail cell in Virginia for 23 hours a day, excluding visits from his attorneys and had been in solitary confinement because the facility can't guarantee his safety. They said the judge, Amy Berman Jackson, did not analyze carefully enough whether Manafort had actually committed witness tampering.

"Nowhere in the country is the bias against Mr. Manafort more apparent than here in".