Judge denies Manafort's request to move DC trial to Virginia

Judge denies Manafort's request to move DC trial to Virginia
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A federal district court judge has denied Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Lawmakers scramble as shutdown deadline nears CNN's Toobin: 'Almost unrecognizable' Manafort 'in danger of losing his life' in prison The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the American Academy of HIV Medicine - Will there be any last-minute shutdown drama? MORE’s request to move his criminal trial from Washington, D.C., to Roanoke, Va.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson, of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, ordered the second trial plaguing the former Trump campaign chairman to remain in Washington, the Associated Press reported on Wednesday.

Manafort’s attorneys had requested the change of venue, arguing a jury pool in D.C. would be biased given the “intense” media coverage of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE’s Russia investigation and Manafort’s trial in Virginia last month.

Manafort was convicted of eight counts of tax and bank fraud in August, charges stemming from Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.


Though the Virginia trial "barely touched on issues relating to the presidential campaign," Manafort's defense team said "the news media barely goes a day without drawing a connection between the two.

Federal prosecutors, however, argued Manafort’s team had not shown “pre-trial publicity is so likely to have prejudiced the jury pool that the venire must be presumed to be tainted.”

Meuller’s team noted that Manafort had also asked for his Virginia trial to be moved from Alexandria to Roanoke, but Judge T.S. Ellis III denied that request, explaining “substantial media attention does not, by itself, warrant a change a venue.”

Manafort is facing seven charges in D.C., including conspiracy to launder money and failing to register as a foreign lobbyist. The D.C. trial is slated to start Sept. 24.