Manafort Asks for Speedy Response to Court Documents Request

WASHINGTON (CN) – Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort asked the government Wednesday to speed up its response to his request for unredacted versions of the search and seizure affidavits in special counsel Robert Mueller’s case against him.

Manafort says he previously requested discoverable material from the government that might be subject to suppression, but claims the government is hiding information.

“The Office of Special Counsel produced redacted search and seizure warrant affidavits from which it is impossible for the defendant to divine the importance of information that the Government continues to hide,” the 4-page filing states.

The motion to compel production, filed by Manafort’s attorney Kevin Downing, says 10 pages of the redacted version of the affidavit describes the government’s investigation of Manafort.

Manafort is facing charges in Washington for conspiracy, money laundering, and failing to register as a foreign agent as part of Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election. Although Mueller is also tasked with investigating ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, none of the charges Manafort currently faces directly relate to Russia’s effort to sway the election in Trump’s favor.

Manafort was indicted on separate charges in Virginia for bank and tax fraud.

Following the 10 pages of the affidavit describing the special counsel’s investigation, Manafort says there is more than a page of redacted material, followed by an agent’s description of the contents of Manafort’s storage unit.

“Nowhere in the unredacted portions of the affidavit does the agent disclose how he came to find himself inside of the storage unit,” the filing says (emphasis original). “Hiding the ball in this manner leaves the defense unable to evaluate if the Government had a legitimate basis for entering the storage unit.”

In order to determine whether his Fourth Amendment rights were violated, Manafort said he needs to see the redacted information.

With the deadline for filing motions to suppress evidence quickly approaching, Manafort said he had no choice but to ask the court to step in.

“Given that the deadline for filing motions to suppress evidence is April 6, 2018, the defendant is forced to seek the Court’s intervention and request that it order the immediate production of all search and seizure affidavits in unredacted form,” the motion says.

Manafort said he needs the affidavits well ahead of the April 6 deadline to determine whether to file a motion to suppress evidence, and claims the Office of Special Counsel is purposely delaying production of the unredacted affidavit, which should be readily available because the government already produced the redacted version.

“Delaying production at this late date suggests gamesmanship,” the motion says.

The Office of Special Counsel has not yet filed its response.



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