Judge Orders Manafort Trial Witness List Be Made Public This Week

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ALEXANDRIA, VA —The government’s witness list for the trial of Paul Manafort in Virginia will be filed publicly by the end of this week, U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis ordered Tuesday.

The order came in a brief hearing where the judge distributed the juror questionnaires ahead of the trial, which will begin July 31.

Uzo Asonye, a lawyer for special counsel Robert Mueller, noted that typically prosecutors did not publicly reveal their witnesses ahead of time.

“This isn’t a typical case,” Ellis said.

Already, the names of five witnesses for whom Mueller granted immunity have been made public. At a hearing Monday, the prosecutors said they expected to call 30 witnesses, though Tuesday they said they were working with the defense to shrink that list, so to shorten the length of the trial, which is expected to last three weeks.

Also at Tuesday’s hearing, Mueller prosecutor Greg Andres revealed the government’s plans to call witnesses from the IRS, the FBI, and FinCEN, an oversight agency at the U.S. Treasury.

Manafort is facing charges of bank fraud and tax fraud in Virginia. He has pleaded not guilty in the case, as well as to the seperate set of charges Mueller has brought against him in D.C.

At Tuesday’s roughly 30-minute hearing, Ellis thanked the 70 or so potential jurors in the Alexandria courtroom and stressed that jury service was a “cardinal” civic duty.

A “tiny” piece of good news he had for the jurors who were selected was that they would be supplied free lunch every day.

“Don’t look for the Baked Alaska on the menu,” he said, while assuring them that the food would be “palatable.”

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