Judge approves Mueller request to grant immunity for witnesses in Manafort trial
A federal judge on Monday approved special counsel Robert Mueller’s request to grant immunity to five witnesses so they can testify against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis said that he would unseal documents containing the identities of the witnesses, according to Talking Points Memo.
Mueller’s team submitted the request for immunity last week and asked that the identities of the potential witnesses not be revealed because they had not yet been publicly linked to the case. Ellis ordered the special counsel on Monday to make public a list of about 30 witnesses.
Manafort is facing multiple charges related to alleged financial crime from work before he joined the Trump campaign. He has denied any wrongdoing and pleaded not guilty to all charges. He is being held in a Virginia jail ahead of his trial on Tuesday.
Manafort’s attorneys have sought to delay his trial and move the venue further from Washington. But last week, Ellis ordered that the trial remain in Alexandria, arguing that Manafort would be able to get a fair trial there.
Prosecutors have previously said that they will need about three weeks to present their case against Manafort in the trial.
The trial in Alexandria will be the first of two criminal trials for Manafort, who is also facing separate charges in Washington, D.C. Among the charges are money laundering and failing to register as a foreign agent with the Justice Department. That trial is set to begin in September.
Updated at 12:50 p.m.