U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis on Tuesday denied a request by former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort to move his upcoming trial away from Alexandria — a Virginia suburb of D.C. — and to Roanoke, Virginia, about a four hour drive away.
The trial, where Manafort is facing charges brought by special counsel Robert Mueller of tax fraud and bank fraud, is scheduled to begin in Alexandria next week.
Ellis, in his eight-page order, rejected Manafort’s argument that the D.C. media frenzy around his case, as well as Alexandria’s education level and political leanings, make it more likely that a jury pool would be biased against him.
Ellis noted that the jury would be selected from geographic area covering 3 million people, and that the media attention on the case was national in nature, rather than specific to the Northern Virginia area. The judge also said that “jurors’ political leanings are not, by themselves, evidence that those jurors cannot fairly and impartially consider the evidence presented and apply the law as instructed by the Court.”
Read the judge’s order below: