Manafort's trial delayed until end of July

Paul Manafort and Robert Mueller

Paul Manafort and Robert Mueller

He has pleaded not guilty to 16 counts of bank and tax fraud and failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts.

Ellis also approved the special counsel's request to offer immunity to five witnesses who are expected to testify at Manafort's trial.

Ellis will begin meeting jurors this week as scheduled. "I'm not in the theater business".

Manafort is facing charges related to alleged financial crime from before he joined the Trump campaign. The Kremlin denies election interference and Trump denies collusion.

Defense lawyers argued that they need additional time to review more than 120,000 pages of documents recently provided by the government.

Mueller's team, represented by Greg Andres at the hearing, had indicated that the only mention of the Trump campaign would be in the context of those particular loans, which Andres said would take a small part of the trial. Alex Van der Zwaan, a lawyer who once worked closely with Manafort and Gates, has also pleaded guilty and has been sentenced.

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The initial phase of jury selection is still set to get underway this week in Alexandria, just outside Washington, D.C., but Manafort's trial itself now isn't scheduled to begin until next week, on July 31.

Manafort would like Ellis, the judge, to ask jurors where they get their news, the extent of their involvement in politics and whether they voted in the 2016 election.

According to the government, the head of that bank, former Trump Campaign economic adviser Stephen Calk, was interested in getting a position within the Trump Administration. The Mueller indictment contains an email chain between Laporta and others regarding Manafort's "Int'l Income Question".

Mueller's team has outlined an extensive list of evidence to present at the Virginia trial, submitting a 21-page list detailing more than 400 exhibits that include scores of bank records, emails and photographs, among other documents.

In a filing last week, attorneys with the special counsel's office said the witnesses must remain confidential because they would be subject to "undue harassment" if their identities were revealed.

The indictment says Manafort and business associate Rick Gates passed money they received from Ukraine through foreign bank accounts to hide it from the Internal Revenue Service.

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