Special Counsel Robert Mueller asked a judge to give immunity to five witnesses who may testify at next week’s bank-fraud trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
Attorneys working with the Office of the Special Counsel made the request in a court filing Tuesday afternoon, which also requests that the identity of the potential witnesses remain under seal to shield them from “undue harassment.”
“The five individuals identified in the motions at issue are third parties who have not been charged in this matter, and who have not been identified publicly with the case,” the filing reads.
“Disclosing the motions would reveal those individuals’ involvement in the investigation and the trial, thereby creating the risk of their undue harassment,” it continues.
The Hill added:
Manafort is charged with money laundering and lobbying violations related to his work for pro-Russia parties in Ukraine prior to joining the Trump campaign. He has denied any wrongdoing and plead not guilty last year, but a former business associate, Rick Gates, plead guilty to similar charges earlier this year.
The former top Trump aide was ordered to jail last month by a federal judge for violating the terms of his bail agreement by allegedly attempting to tamper with a witness. His trial in Virginia is scheduled for July 24, and he is set to defend himself in September against charges filed in Washington, D.C.
The new court filing comes just a day after President Trump seemed to side with Russian President Vladimir Putin over his own intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election.