Judge delays opening statements in second Manafort trial by one week

Judge delays opening statements in second Manafort trial by one week

The federal judge overseeing former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortHillicon Valley: Trump's exclusive interview with Hill.TV | Trump, intel officials clash over Russia docs | EU investigating Amazon | Military gets new cyber authority | Flynn sentencing sparks new questions about Mueller probe Comey: Mueller may be in 'fourth quarter' of Russia probe Flynn sentencing move spurs questions about duration of Mueller probe MORE’s upcoming trial in Washington granted a request by his defense attorneys for a one-week delay for opening statements, CNBC is reporting.

The ruling from Judge Amy Berman Jackson during a pretrial hearing Tuesday means opening arguments will be delayed until Sept. 24. Jury selection will still begin on Sept. 17.

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According to Reuters, Jackson will also allow prosecutors to introduce evidence related to Manafort’s lobbying activities in the 1980s, while limiting the scope of the evidence.

The trial will be the second stemming from special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, and it comes after Manafort was convicted on eight counts of tax and bank fraud in a separate federal case in Virginia earlier this month.

Manafort faces seven charges in the Washington trial, including illegal foreign lobbying and conspiracy to launder money.

Jackson’s ruling on the evidence represents a partial victory for Mueller’s team. The judge signaled Tuesday that she would allow prosecutors to introduce evidence related to a Justice Department review of Manafort’s lobbying in the 1980s, Reuters reported.

However, Jackson said she would limit the evidence introduced by Mueller’s team to avoid a “trial within a trial” that could lead to the jury reviewing troves of documents.

Prosecutors had requested to introduce decades-old evidence showing Manafort’s alleged “bad acts” in the past in order to counter the defense’s argument that Manafort did not know the laws governing foreign lobbying. Jackson reportedly asked the prosecution and defense to agree to a stipulation indicating Manafort was alerted to rules governing lobbying disclosure in the 1980s.

Tuesday's developments follow a Wall Street Journal article on Monday that said both sides engaged in talks last week about a deal to resolve the second set of charges. The talks reportedly stalled over objections raised by Mueller.