Judge delays Paul Manafort's trial until July 31

Clay Curtis
July 26, 2018

US District Judge T.S. Ellis also delayed the start of the trial, originally scheduled for Wednesday, to July 31.

Defense attorney Kevin Downing said in a hearing that numerous documents related to Rick Gates, Manafort's right-hand man who pleaded guilty and is cooperating with prosecutors. Gates has pleaded guilty to two charges in federal court in Washington and is set to testify against Manafort.

The witnesses, who Mueller's team submitted for immunity last week and whose identities were not released publicly until Monday, are James Brennan, Donna Duggan, Conor O'Brien, Cindy Laporta, and Dennis Raico, according to Talking Points Memo.

When jury selection begins, one question potential jurors will not be asked is how they voted in the 2016 presidential election.

Lawyers sought the delay for Manafort, a long-time Republican operative and businessman who is a target of Special Counsel Mueller's investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 US election.

The charges largely pre-date the five months he worked on the Trump team in 2016, some of them as campaign chairman.

Avenatti pitched Michael Cohen on working together against Trump, source says
Lanny Davis, an attorney for Cohen, posted on Twitter that Trump and his legal team had waived the privilege claim. The other recordings are of conversations in which Cohen mentions the president to someone else, Giuliani said.

In addition, Ellis is expected to rule Monday on Manafort's request to delay the trial, slated to start this week.

Manafort's lawyers also sought to prevent prosecutors from talking about alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

"I'm going to take the seal off" the court docket, Ellis said on Monday. He was also accused that he is not registered as a foreign agent, while engaged in lobbying in the United States Pro-Kremlin government of Ukraine of former President Viktor Yanukovych.

According to the government, the head of that bank, former Trump Campaign economic adviser Stephen Calk, was interested in getting a position within the Trump Administration.

Manafort's lawyers have sought to exclude some of the exhibits, arguing that they are irrelevant and would prejudice the jurors, but Mueller's office said the documents are pertinent.

Attorney Kevin Downing had argued the defense needed more time to go through tens of thousands of documents. Downing said once the bookkeeper was subpoenaed by prosecutors, the firm demanded money to give them back to Manafort.

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