Judge denies Manafort's request to suppress evidence

US Mueller probe seeks immunity for 5 witnesses

US Mueller probe seeks immunity for 5 witnesses

A federal judge on Wednesday denied a request by President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort to suppress evidence seized by the FBI from his home as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing probe into whether Trump's 2016 presidential campaign colluded with Russian Federation.

The immunity would allow witnesses to testify with the assurance that they can not be prosecuted for self-incriminating admissions they may make.

Prosecutors did not identify the witnesses and said they had not been publicly identified with the case.

Manafort's trial on money laundering and other corruption charges is set to begin July 25.

In this March 8, 2018, file photo, Paul Manafort, left, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, walks with this wife Kathleen Manafort, as they arrive at the Alexandria Federal Courthouse in Alexandria, Va.

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Mueller is keeping the names of the witnesses undisclosed at this time so as not to create "risk of undue harassment" and because the details "could lead to reputational harm", according to a proposal from the prosecutors. Prosecutors asked for the court to compel the witnesses to testify.

Manafort's lawyers sought to move his upcoming trial from Alexandria, Virginia, in the Washington, D.C. region, to Roanoke, Virginia.

The trial is one of two at which Manafort must defend himself against a number of charges ranging from bank fraud to failing to register as a foreign agent for lobbying work for pro-Russia politicians in Ukraine. They also said the population in the northern Virginia area where the Alexandria jury pool would be drawn from voted heavily in favor of Democrat Hillary Clinton over Trump in the 2016 presidential election. Those people may be called on to testify during Paul Manafort's trial.

He is now being held in jail in Alexandria.

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