A federal judge on Monday approved Paul Manafort’s request to delay his trial start date, giving attorneys for both Manafort and the special counsel Robert Mueller until July 31 to prepare. The trial had been scheduled to begin on Wednesday, ABC reported.
Judge T.S. Ellis also approved special counsel Robert Mueller’s request to offer immunity to five witnesses expected to testify at the trial of Manafort, a former campaign chairman for President Donald Trump.
Those 5 are, Dennis Raico, Cindy Laporta, Conor O’Brien, Donna Duggan, and James Brennan.
Ellis also unsealed the names of five witnesses who have been granted partial immunity from prosecution in exchange for their testimony in Manafort’s case.
Documents in the case so far didn’t give much suggestion as to what the witnesses might be called upon to tell the jury, NPR suggested.
Manafort resigned as Trump’s campaign manager in August 2016 amid reports about his past work for pro-Russian Ukrainian businessmen. The longtime international lobbyist and political consultant has worked for everyone from Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush to Filipino dictator Ferdinand Marcos. A grand jury empaneled by the special counsel indicted Manafort on charges including money laundering, conspiracy, tax fraud and failure to disclose his lobbying in the U.S. on behalf of foreign governments. Prosecutors have alleged Manafort and a business partner, Rick Gates, worked on behalf of pro-Russia factions in Ukraine, then laundered millions of dollars in profits for movement to the United States to evade taxes.
“Both Manafort and the Podesta Group had to file foreign agent registration act forms disclosing their lobbying activities for groups like the party of the regions and some other fronts associated with Ukraine. ONLY MANAFORT WAS INDICTED for not filing those forms properly and on time when he should have,” Fitton said.