Court seals portion of Mueller team’s discussion relevant to ‘ongoing investigation’

Court seals portion of Mueller team’s discussion relevant to ‘ongoing investigation’
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The judge presiding over Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortEx-Trump campaign aide Rick Gates testifies against former Obama counsel Gregory Craig Trial of ex-Obama White House counsel suddenly postponed Top Mueller probe prosecutor to join Georgetown Law as lecturer MORE’s criminal trial has granted a request by special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerMueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony MORE to seal portions of a sidebar conversation between the judge and attorneys during Richard Gates’s testimony this week.

“Sealing a limited portion of the sidebar conference is necessary because it would reveal substantive evidence pertaining to an ongoing government investigation,” Mueller’s team wrote in the motion to seal portions of the transcript on Thursday.

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis granted the request, sealing the requested portions of the conversation “until the relevant aspect of the investigation is revealed publicly, if that were to occur.”

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CNN reported Thursday that the filing referred to a conversation between trial attorneys and the judge after Manafort attorney Kevin Downing asked Gates, "Were you interviewed on several occasions about your time at the Trump campaign?"

Prosecutor Greg Andres objected to the question before Gates replied, and the attorneys huddled with Ellis, a Reagan appointee, out of earshot of Gates, the jury and trial attendees, according to CNN.

Gates, Manafort’s longtime business associate, has pleaded guilty to charges brought against him by Mueller and is participating with the special counsel’s investigation into possible collusion between President TrumpDonald John TrumpDavid Axelrod after Ginsburg cancer treatment: Supreme Court vacancy could 'tear this country apart' EU says it will 'respond in kind' if US slaps tariffs on France Ginsburg again leaves Supreme Court with an uncertain future MORE’s 2016 campaign and Russia.

Manafort is facing another trial in Washington, D.C., later this year on other charges brought against him by Mueller, including obstructing justice, conspiracy to obstruct justice and illegal foreign lobbying.

Both Gates and Manafort worked on Trump’s 2016 campaign. The charges brought against Manafort in his ongoing Alexandria, Va., trial are unrelated to his time as head of the Trump campaign.

Gates testified this week that he and Manafort committed crimes together.

Manafort has pleaded not guilty to charges in both cases.