Published: Mon, July 09, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Manafort's lawyers ask for trial to be moved away from Washington

Manafort's lawyers ask for trial to be moved away from Washington

Last month, Manafort was accused of trying to influence witness testimony while he was under house arrest.

Also on Friday, prosecutors said they would introduce evidence at trial showing that a senior bank executive helped Manafort get $16 million in loans in return for efforts to get him positions on the campaign and in the administration.

Manafort is the first person indicted by the special council and the first person to face a trial arising from the special investigation. While prosecutors filled in the Trump campaign details, Manafort's team was busy filing requests with the judge to move his trial location and date, to look into possible leaks from the prosecutors and to keep Manafort out of the public eye.

The bank, identified as "Lender D" in Friday's filing, is the Federal Savings Bank, a Chicago-based lender, according to prior filings in the case.

Manafort, according to his lawyer, is being secluded because correctional officials "cannot otherwise guarantee his safety". John Dowd, former lawyer to President Trump, has called the imprisonment "harsh" and an "outrageous violation" of Manafort's civil liberties.

They point out specific instances where Manafort has faced "intensely negative news coverage", especially in the past month.

The former Trump campaign chairman's attorneys filed court documents this week claiming Manafort is unable to adequately prepare for his two upcoming trials while jailed, reported New York Magazine.

In addition, they say, voters in the Virginia region where jurors would be drawn from voted 2-1 in favor of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Trump's opponent, while "this split is more balanced" in Roanoke. Three others - George Papadopoulos, Michael Flynn and Rick Gates - had pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with investigators.

Federal marshals at the Northern Neck Regional Jail in Warsaw, Virginia determined that they have to keep him isolated almost all the time in order to 'guarantee his safety, ' according to his attorneys.

A court document filed Thursday says Manafort is kept in solitary confinement 23 hours per day, excluding visits from his attorneys, at a facility about two hours from his legal team while he awaits his July 25 trial.

His lawyers told Jackson that the evidence of witness tampering was thin, and complained that Mueller's office had ignored another federal judge's order to turn over a complete list of potential witnesses.

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