Manafort Wants Accusation Specifics, Evidence Suppression Before Trial

FILE – In this Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017, file photo, Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, leaves Federal District Court, in Washington.

WASHINGTON (CN) – Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort wants special counsel Robert Mueller’s team to provide details about the allegations against him “to prevent unfair surprise at trial” and for the court to suppress evidence that he claims was ill-gotten.

Manafort asked for a bill of particulars in a four-page motion filed late Friday afternoon by his attorney Kevin Downing. He wants Mueller’s team to identify his exact role in the allegations against him in the five-count superseding indictment filed in Washington on Feb. 23.

Those charges include conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to launder money, failure to register as a foreign agent and making false statements – all stemming from work he did on behalf of the Ukrainian government and former Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych.

Mueller’s team accuses Manafort of engaging in a scheme to hide the income he earned for that work from American authorities.

“As part of the scheme, Manafort repeatedly provided and caused to be provided false information to financial bookkeepers, tax accountants, and legal counsel, among others,” the superseding indictment says.

Manafort now wants Mueller’s team to identify the false information, the form in which he provided it and to whom, and the context in which it was provided, according to his April 6 motion.

Manafort is also asking for specifics about how he allegedly aided and abetted unidentified companies “to act as agents of a foreign principal.”

In addition, he seeks particulars about false statements he reportedly made to the Department of Justice about his Ukrainian lobbying work.

The short motion also pushes Mueller’s team to identify the “accomplices” and “others” they say assisted Manafort with his alleged scheme.

Without the requested information, Manafort says he “will be subject to unfair surprise and cannot adequately prepare for trial.”

Later Friday night, Manafort also filed a 21-page motion to suppress evidence obtained during a search of his storage unit in Alexandria, Virginia. He claims an FBI agent performed a warrantless search of the unit on May 26, 2017, after a low-level employee of Manafort gave him permission to do so without Manafort’s consent.

According to Manafort, the agent used what he found during the first search to quickly obtain a warrant and return the next day, when “the FBI seized virtually every document contained within the storage unit.”

Along with the motion to suppress, Downing asked for an extension to file for suppression of evidence obtained during a separate search of Manafort’s residence.

Manafort’s trial is scheduled to begin on Sept. 17.

 

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