Mueller Asks Judge in Manafort Case to Grant Immunity to Five Witnesses

Cheryl Sanders
July 19, 2018

Special counsel Robert Mueller filed court documents Tuesday requesting immunity for five potential witnesses in the case against President Donald Trump's former campaign chair Paul Manafort.

Ahead of that trial, the Special Counsel's office notified the court today that they are seeking immunity for five persons, unnamed, and who NBC investigative reporter Tom Winter says have not previously been named in connection with the case. He indicated that the witnesses would invoke their Fifth Amendment rights unless they were granted immunity, and requested that the immunity motions be sealed. Prosecutors said the witnesses refused to testify or would refuse to answer certain questions if not given the protection. His trial is set to begin next Wednesday.

Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort is shown in this booking photo in Alexanderia, Virginia, U.S., July 12, 2018.

In her ruling, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson rejected claims by Manafort's lawyers that the search warrant was "unconstitutionally overbroad".

The Manafort trial, the first arising from Mueller's investigation into potential coordination between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign, is expected to start next week.

Defence lawyers had sought to move the trial to Roanoke in Virginia, arguing that Mr Manafort would not receive a fair trial in Alexandria due to its proximity to Washington DC and the extensive pre-trial publicity.

Manafort faces numerous charges, including conspiracy to commit money laundering, making false statements and working as an unregistered agent of the government of Ukraine. They also said the population in the northern Virginia area where the Alexandria jury pool would be drawn from voted heavily in favor of Democrat Hillary Clinton over Trump in the 2016 presidential election.

Manafort, 69, is accused of bank fraud and tax crimes in the Alexandria case.

Other reports by iNewsToday