Judge grants five witnesses limited immunity in Manafort trial

Judge grants five witnesses limited immunity in Manafort trial

Judge grants five witnesses limited immunity in Manafort trial

The federal judge in the upcoming federal court trial for President Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort on Monday unsealed the names of five witnesses being granted immunity to testify, as he granted the defense's request to delay the start of the trial.

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III also said the office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller must provide a list of about 30 witnesses to lawyers for Manafort, who had sought a delay in his criminal trial scheduled to start this week on bank and tax fraud charges.

Downing said the defense also only recently received 40,000 pages of documents from the phones and computer of Richard Gates, Manafort's ex-business partner. Gates has pleaded guilty to two charges in federal court in Washington and is set to testify against Manafort.

Here are the five people who have immunity: Donna Duggan, James Brennan, Conor O'Brien, Cindy Laporta, and Dennis Raico.

If Ellis turns down Manafort's request to continue the trial, jury selection is slated to begin Wednesday.

"I'm not going let this trial drag on", he said.

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Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III last week released a list of almost 500 pieces of evidence that prosecutors may show to a jury, including emails and memos discussing strategy with and for Yanukovych.

"We'll try to do it in a discrete way", said Greg Andres, one of Mueller's prosecutors.

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

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

Manafort faces a second criminal trial in Washington in September on related charges, including witness tampering, in connection with lobbying work he performed for the former pro-Russia Ukrainian government. Downing said once the bookkeeper was subpoenaed by prosecutors, the firm demanded money to give them back to Manafort. Ellis made it clear that he generally believes that prosecutors' motives are not relevant at trial, but said Manafort's lawyers could approach him during the trial, to make the argument in its "then-living color" as it comes up.

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