Mueller seeks immunity for 5 witnesses in Manafort case

Mueller seeking immunity for five witnesses

The special counsel prosecuting Paul Manafort is seeking to give immunity to five potential witnesses in advance of his trial in Alexandria federal court next week.

The cases are U.S. v. Manafort, 17-cr-201, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington), and 18-cr-83, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia (Alexandria).

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis denied a motion filed by Manafort's attorneys to move the Virginia trial, scheduled for later this month, from Alexandria, Va., to Roanoke, Va., over his claims that relentless media coverage of his role in the Trump campaign and by extension the Russian Federation investigation would taint a potential juror pool.

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The motions are sealed, and the government will not reveal the names of the witnesses unless they are actually called to testify. The trial is set to begin July 25 in Alexandria, Va. In a court filing, Mueller's team said identifying the individuals would result in "risk of their undue harassment".

Prosecutors have also accused Mr. Manafort of committing bank fraud and lying to financial institutions in order to obtain millions of dollars in loans in 2015 and 2016 as the Ukraine income dried up.

Ellis last week denied Manafort's bid to stay at a jail in rural Virginia where he said he was being treated like a "VIP", and ordered him moved to a jail in Alexandria closer to his attorneys and his home.


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