Judge Declines Manafort Demand for Unredacted Warrants

Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, leaves the Federal District Court, in Washington, Nov. 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

WASHINGTON (CN) – A federal judge ruled Tuesday that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort is not entitled to two unredacted affidavits containing names of confidential sources and other information that doesn’t bear on the criminal charges against him.

Manafort had asked for the affidavits to support a challenge on the validity of the warrants.

But in a 4-page order, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said there is nothing relevant in the two affidavits that would enable Manafort to challenge any of the warrants based on the affidavits.

Jackson issued the order after she conducted a review of the affidavits in her chambers.

“Based on its in camera review of the affidavits at issue, the court finds that the limited redactions are appropriate and justified on the grounds set forth by the prosecution, and that the Office of Special Counsel need not reveal the redacted information to the defendant at this time,” Jackson wrote.

Jackson said the limited redacted information at issue does not relate to Manafort’s case, adding that prosecutors said they would set the redacted information aside and not rely on it to establish probable cause underlying the issuance of any warrant.

A grand jury indicted Manafort this past October on charges of conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money and making false statements about lobbying work done on behalf of a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine. Manafort faces a second set of tax and bank fraud charges in the Eastern District of Virginia. That trial is scheduled to begin July 24, while the Washington, D.C. trial will begin Sept. 17.

Manafort had requested seven unredacted affidavits regarding the search of his Alexandria, Virginia, condominium and storage locker, along with searches of three email addresses, a hard drive, five telephone numbers and the seizure of funds from three bank accounts.

Jackson said Manafort had already received all necessary information regarding five of the affidavits.

According to the order, the affidavits will remain under seal for now.

Also on Tuesday but at the U.S. Eastern District of Virginia court, another attorney was added to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s legal team: Adam C. Jed.

The Harvard Law graduate was a clerk for Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens before working as an appellate lawyer in the civil division at the Department of Justice.

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