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Manafort DC judge to let jury hear evidence he knew lobby rules

Paul ManafortAssociated Press/File

The judge overseeing the upcoming Washington, D.C., trial of Paul Manafort told the government it can use evidence purportedly showing that Manafort was aware of rules that would have required him to register as a foreign agent for his work in Ukraine.

Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, is charged with violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act, as well as money laundering and obstruction of justice in the Washington case. Prosecutors plan to introduce evidence that shows that the Justice Department had advised him of the rules surrounding this type of work in the mid-1980s.

“The FARA unit made the defendant aware of the rules in ways that are particularly apt here,” prosecutor Andrew Weissmann told US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson during a hearing about the evidence Tuesday.


The defense objected to the introduction of the evidence, calling it outdated and prejudicial. Jackson rejected that argument but said prosecutors couldn’t talk about who Manafort’s foreign clients were or the work he did for them.

Manafort was convicted on Aug. 21 of eight counts of bank and tax fraud in a separate trial in Alexandria, Va. Prosecutors working for Special Counsel Robert Mueller were granted more time by Judge T.S. Ellis III, who is overseeing that case, for more time to decide whether they want to retry Manafort on the 10 counts on which that jury wasn’t able to reach agreement.

Mueller will have one week after Ellis rules on any post-trial motions to notify the court if prosecutors intend to retry or dismiss the charges. Manafort’s defense team has 30 days following the conviction to file such motions.

Opening arguments for Manafort’s next trial are scheduled for Sept. 24. Jury selection will begin on Sept. 17. The defense filed a motion for change in venue in the trial to Roanoke, Va., on Wednesday.