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WSJ: Manafort sought plea deal for next trial

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort sought a plea deal before his trial in Washington, DC, federal court next month, but talks stalled over issues raised by special counsel Robert Mueller, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Posted: Aug 30, 2018 4:00 PM
Updated: Aug 30, 2018 4:07 PM

Paul Manafort has again asked to move an upcoming criminal trial to Roanoke, Virginia, as he prepares for a second trial before a jury in Washington, DC.

The former campaign chairman for President Donald Trump, facing charges related to financial transactions and his lobbying work in Ukraine prior to his involvement in the Trump campaign, had once before asked to move his first trial in Northern Virginia to Roanoke. In both requests, he cited the politicized and media-saturated environment in the Washington region. Manafort has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The judge in Virginia refused to move the trial, and the court was able to find 12 jurors who said they could weigh the case without bias.

He was found guilty on eight charges, and the jury could not reach a verdict on 10 charges.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson suggested at a hearing Tuesday that she believed the DC federal court could also find a fair jury for such a high-profile case.

"It is difficult to conceive of a matter that has received media attention of the same magnitude as the prosecution of Mr. Manafort," his attorneys argue in the filing Wednesday morning. They point out that "the nation's attention remains fixed on Mr. Manafort" and his connection to Trump has caused the case to "become theatre."

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