Manafort to Learn Names of Suspected Accomplices

WASHINGTON (CN) – A federal judge ordered special counsel Robert Mueller on Tuesday to identify the people he believes helped former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort hide his lobbying income.

Paul Manafort talks to reporters on the floor of the Republican National Convention at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland on July 17, 2016, as Rick Gates listens at back left. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson set a Friday deadline for the information in response to a request for a bill of particulars filed by Manafort on April 6.

Manafort said disclosure would “prevent unfair surprise at trial.”

While Jackson said the bulk of Mueller’s indictment against Manafort is specific enough to put him on notice of the pending charges, she said he is entitled to know who his alleged accomplices are.

“Defendant is obliged to prepare for a complex trial with a voluminous record within a relatively short period of time, and he should not have to be surprised at a later point by the addition of a new name or allegation,” the 5-page order says.

Manafort is facing several indictments in Washington, D.C., and Virginia related to work he did on behalf of the pro-Russia Party of Regions in Ukraine and former Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych.

The charges include conspiracy, money laundering, making false statements, failure to register as a foreign agent, bank and tax fraud, and obstruction of justice.

Manafort had requested specifics from Mueller about the Feb. 23 superseding indictment filed in Washington, D.C., which says that Manafort “caused and aided and abetted Companies A, B, and C, and others, including senior foreign politicians, to act as agents of a foreign principal … without registering.”

Mueller says the identity of the “others” – referred to as principles of Companies A, B, and C – and “senior foreign politicians” should be obvious to Manafort based on discovery materials already provided to his defense team.

But because Mueller’s team raised no particular need to keep their identities secret, and claims the names were already disclosed in discovery materials, Jackson said the government must provide Manafort with the names.

Jackson denied the rest of Manafort’s motion for Mueller’s team to provide specifics about the false information he’s accused of providing to the Department of Justice, saying that the indictment identifies the precise false statements that form the basis of the charges.

Prosecutors meanwhile have already stated that the attorney who provided information to the Justice Department on Manafort’s behalf received it directly from him and submitted it at his direction.

Manafort is due in court Friday at 10 a.m. to be arraigned on two new charges Mueller’s office filed Friday alleging obstruction of justice related to witness tampering. The government is also seeking to revise or revoke Manafort’s pretrial release over the allegations.

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