Mueller requests immunity from prosecution for 5 witnesses in Paul Manafort trial

  • The office of special counsel Robert Mueller has requested immunity from prosecution for five potential witnesses in the upcoming federal trial of Paul Manafort.

  • The special counsel's filing requested the identities of the possible witnesses be kept under seal.

  • Manafort will be tried for charges including tax evasion and bank fraud on July 25.

The office of special counsel Robert Mueller has requested immunity for five potential witnesses who could testify in the upcoming trial of Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, according to a Tuesday court filing.

The request, filed with US District Court Judge T.S. Ellis in the Eastern District of Virginia, says that unless the possible witnesses are granted immunity from prosecution, they will invoke their Fifth Amendment privilege to avoid incriminating themselves with their testimony.

The filing also asks the judge to keep the motions under seal to protect the identities of the potential witnesses.

"The five individuals identified in the motions at issue are third parties who have not been charged in this matter, and who have not been identified publicly with the case," the document says. "Disclosing the motions would reveal those individuals’ involvement in the investigation and the trial, thereby creating the risk of their undue harassment."

The identities of these potential witnesses will, however, be revealed if they do testify in Manafort's July 25 trial. The special counsel's office is prosecuting Manafort in two separate criminal trials on over 20 charges, including bank fraud, tax evasion, conspiracy, and failing to register as a foreign agent in relation to his work as a lobbyist for the Ukrainian government.

After being charged, Manafort was out on bail and under house arrest for several months. But Manafort's bond was revoked and he was sent to jail on June 15 after prosecutors accused him of witness tampering.

He is currently in custody at the Alexandria, Virginia, Detention Center, the location of his first trial. Manafort's second trial is scheduled for September 17 in Washington, DC.

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