Mueller wants questionnaire to determine media impact on potential Manafort jurors

Mueller wants questionnaire to determine media impact on potential Manafort jurors
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Special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump MORE filed a motion Thursday requesting that potential jurors in the upcoming trial against former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortHunter Biden blasts Trump in new book: 'A vile man with a vile mission' Prosecutors drop effort to seize three Manafort properties after Trump pardon FBI offers 0K reward for Russian figure Kilimnik MORE fill out a questionnaire to determine if they’re biased in the case, citing “widespread media attention.”

The motion, filed in federal court in Alexandria, Va., includes proposed questions to be asked of possible jurors. Politico first reported on the filing.


The document states that the reporting surrounding the case, “at times inaccurately, comments on the nature of the evidence collected in the case or activities of the parties.”

The filing also notes that there has been “extensive publicity” about the special counsel investigation and that some media accounts “question the legitimacy of the Special Counsel’s investigation, tending to advance the opinion that the investigation is 'tainted' and therefore its results are suspect.”

“Other media accounts, by contrast, include disparaging descriptions of [Manafort],” the filing reads. The document cites opinion pieces about both Mueller and Manafort in making the argument.

The filing includes 52 possible questions to ask potential jurors in the case, including ones about jurors' exposure to media reports about the investigation and Manafort.

Jurors would also be questioned about their views on crimes tied to the charges against Manafort, including bank fraud and filing false tax returns.

And another question also directly asks jurors about Mueller.

“Is there anything regarding the Special Counsel’s Office that would prevent or hinder you in any way from rendering a fair and impartial verdict in this case based solely on the evidence presented and the Court’s instructions on the law?” the question reads.

Manafort had pleaded not guilty to the charges in the case, which include obstructing justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice. He was initially released on house arrest, but had his bail revoked and was sent to jail after Mueller alleged he attempted to tamper with witnesses in the case.

Manafort's trial is set to begin on July 25.