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Judge refuses to move second Manafort trial out of D.C.

By Ed Adamczyk
Judge refuses to move second Manafort trial out of D.C.
A federal judge denied Wednesday a request by defense attorneys to move the second trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort out of Washington, D.C. The attorneys had argued it would be impossible to find an impartial jury in the district. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 5 (UPI) -- The second trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort will stay in Washington, D.C., a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

Manafort's attorneys sought a change of venue for the trial, which is set to begin jury selection on Sept. 17. They argued the district's large number of Democratic voters and publicity surrounding Manafort's first trial in Virginia would make finding an impartial jury impossible.

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Judge Amy Berman Jackson denied the request, saying defense attorneys failed to show an impartial jury would be elusive in Washington.

Jackson did, however, allow room for Manafort's attorneys to refile the request if jury selection proves to be difficult.

Manafort was convicted Aug. 22 after a fraud trial in Alexandria, Va. He was found guilty on five tax fraud charges, one charge of hiding foreign bank accounts and two counts of bank fraud. Judge T.S. Ellis declared a mistrial on 10 other charges after jurors were unable to agree.

Manafort has not yet been sentenced, but faces a maximum of 480 years in prison.

At the second trial, Manafort faces seven felony counts of money laundering conspiracy, failure to register as a foreign agent for a Ukrainian political party and witness tampering. Some evidence supporting the federal charges was presented at the Alexandria trial.

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Both trials are based on charges presented by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating potential Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign on behalf of the Justice Department.

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