Mueller Asks Judge in Manafort Case to Grant Immunity to Five Witnesses

Special Counsel Robert Mueller departs Capitol Hill following a closed door meeting in Washington

Special Counsel Robert Mueller departs Capitol Hill following a closed door meeting in Washington

Special counsel Robert Mueller asked a federal judge Tuesday to grant immunity to five unidentified potential witnesses whose testimony he wants to compel at the criminal trial of ex-Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, CNBC reported Tuesday, citing court documents.

Manafort faces charges of bank fraud and money laundering, as well as lobbying law violations over his work for pro-Russia political parties in Ukraine prior to joining the Trump campaign.

The immunity would allow witnesses to testify with the assurance that they can not be prosecuted for self-incriminating admissions they may make.

Immunity would relieve them of the need of Fifth Amendment protections, so the witnesses could then be forced to testify.

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Their names will be made public only if they are called to testify, according to the filing. It is the first arising from the investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller, who is examining potential coordination between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.

Manafort's attorneys asked that the upcoming trial be moved from Alexandria, Virginia, southwest to Roanoke.

Manafort's lawyers said extensive pretrial news media coverage in the Washington region had interfered with Manafort's right to a fair trial.

He said there was no evidence that potential jurors in the region were politically biased, and that in any event, jurors' political leanings by themselves aren't evidence that they can't fairly consider a case.

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