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Manafort to ask federal judge to exclude evidence from FBI raids: report

Manafort to ask federal judge to exclude evidence from FBI raids: report
© Greg Nash

President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from Gillum and DeSantis’s first debate GOP warns economy will tank if Dems win Gorbachev calls Trump's withdrawal from arms treaty 'a mistake' MORE's former campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortManafort appears in wheelchair at court hearing Manafort to be sentenced in Virginia in February Former FBI agent sentenced to 4 years in jail for leaking to reporter MORE will ask a judge on Wednesday to suppress evidence gathered by FBI agents in the case against him as he faces charges of money laundering and tax fraud.

Reuters reports that Manafort is requesting that the court toss out evidence gathered during last year's FBI raid of his Virginia home, and specifically documents from his consulting business stored in a locker that was unlocked by a lower-level staffer during the raid.

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Manafort has made a number of moves to challenge the legality of the case against him, including questioning special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's authority under the Justice Department memo laying out the scope of the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential race and possible collusion between Trump's campaign and Moscow.

The former Trump aide has also asked the judge to throw out a number of charges, including money laundering, that relate to his work lobbying for pro-Russian political parties in Ukraine. None of Manafort's charges stem from his actions during the 2016 election.

It was reported earlier this month that the judge in Manafort's trial had expressed skepticism regarding the charges Manafort faces and had accused prosecutors of using Manafort's charges as a way of getting at Trump.

“You don’t really care about Mr. Manafort’s bank fraud,” U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III told prosecutor Michael Dreeben. “You really care about getting information Mr. Manafort can give you that would reflect on Mr. Trump and lead to his prosecution or impeachment.

"That's what you're really interested in.”

Last month a different judge tossed out a civil case filed by Manafort challenging the scope and authority of Mueller's investigation, calling it the wrong vehicle for such complaints.

"A civil case is not the appropriate vehicle for taking issue with what a prosecutor has done in the past or where he might be headed in the future," wrote U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson.

"It is a sound and well-established principle that a court should not exercise its equitable powers to interfere with or enjoin an ongoing criminal investigation when the defendant will have the opportunity to challenge any defect in the prosecution in the trial court or on direct appeal."