Washington Post petitions court to open sealed, redacted records in Manafort case

Washington Post petitions court to open sealed, redacted records in Manafort case
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The Washington Post said Thursday it has petitioned a federal court to open sealed and redacted records in the case against former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortFormer bank CEO convicted of bribery in scheme to land Trump admin job Trial begins for Chicago banker who exchanged loans with Manafort for Trump job Legal intrigue swirls over ex-Trump exec Weisselberg: Five key points MORE.

The Post cited “the profound public interest in these proceedings” in its request, as well as special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
 
 
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“The investigation, which concerns the integrity of this country’s elections, goes to the core of the interests protected by the First Amendment,” the Washington Post wrote in its motion, filed in U.S. district court in Washington, D.C.
 
Manafort was convicted in August on charges of bank and tax fraud. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for Thursday afternoon in Virginia, and then another sentencing next week in Washington for a separate case.
 
The Post's motion argues "the protection of ongoing criminal investigation" in Manafort's case was too broad in characterizing that protection as an unspecific rubber stamp.
 
“The Post acknowledges that protection of ongoing criminal investigations has been recognized as a compelling interest that could justify sealing, at least as a general matter,” the newspaper wrote in its filing. “But courts are not permitted to simply rubber-stamp the government’s assertions on this front — the Court must make specific findings showing that the sealing of any material is narrowly tailored to actually serve that interest.”  
 
Attorneys for the Post asked Judge Amy Berman Jackson to unseal the records after providing the government 10 days to respond, while also asking "prosecutors to notify the court within seven days once any related pending investigation is ending, for potential further unsealing of materials, and to justify the continued sealing of any remaining material every four weeks."