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Manafort's Attorneys Say They Will Ask To Move Second Trial Out Of Washington


U.S. President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort (file photo)

U.S. President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort's attorneys said on August 28 that they will ask to move his second trial from Washington to another location because of pretrial publicity that they said could bias the jury.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said that jury selection in Manafort's trial in the District of Columbia will begin as scheduled on September 17, but opening statements will be delayed until the following week.

Manafort's attorneys have said they needed more time to sort through the more than 1,600 pieces of evidence that Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team intends to introduce at trial related to Manafort's lobbying and political consulting work for Ukraine.

Manafort, a longtime lobbyist, faces charges of failing to register as a foreign agent for his work on behalf of pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine, among other criminal charges.

Manafort attorneys said they will request the trial be moved out of Washington despite an unsuccessful attempt to move Manafort's first trial in the Washington suburb of Alexandria, Virginia, to a location more distant from the U.S. capital.

Jackson said the court in Washington has seen plenty of high-profile cases and has been able to select juries that were impartial. She also noted that Manafort's case has attracted national and international publicity, making it difficult to argue that other locations would be more suitable because people there were less exposed to publicity about Manafort.

The second trial will come about a month after a jury in Virginia convicted Manafort on eight felony counts of filing false tax returns, failing to report offshore bank accounts, and bank fraud. The jury deadlocked on 10 other counts.

Manafort's second trial will likely take a few weeks, with prosecutors saying they need 10 to 12 days to present their case.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters
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