Mueller Asks Manafort Judge to Give Immunity to 5 Witnesses

Robert Mueller asks judge to give immunity to five witnesses

The immunity request specifies that the "named individuals will not testify or provide other information" without it, because of the protections against "self-incrimination".

Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort is shown in this booking photo in Alexandria, July 12. Mueller's office told a federal judge in Virginia on July 17 that they were seeking to compel the witnesses to testify under condition of immunity.

If granted, that means the witnesses' testimony couldn't be used against them in later court cases.

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

Witnesses' names were left out of the indictment because the special counsel is not certain they will be called to testify.

Trump's former campaign chairman faces bank and tax fraud charges brought by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III as part of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Manafort was most recently moved to an Alexandria jail pending his trial, after previously being detained at a facility in Northern Neck, Virginia where he said in taped conversations that he was being treated like a "VIP" and has access to all the paperwork he needs to prepare his defense.

"Although there has been extensive press coverage of defendant's pretrial proceedings, that coverage has not disrupted the "judicial serenity and calm" to which the defendant is entitled", Ellis said Tuesday.

He said there was no evidence that potential jurors in the region were politically biased, and that in any event, jurors' political leanings by themselves aren't evidence that they can't fairly consider a case.

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