Lawyers for former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort on Tuesday said they would seek to move his second trial, scheduled to start next month, out of Washington, D.C., due to the highly politicized environment in the nation’s capital. The motion for change of venue will be the second by Manafort after a failed attempt to move his first trial, which concluded last week in Alexandria, Virginia, with a string of convictions, to farther away from the Washington area on similar grounds.
Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who is presiding over the second criminal case against Manafort in a federal court in Washington, said she would entertain the motion but said she believed a jury could be found in the capital to give him a fair trial. Berman said jury selection for the second trial would start on Sept. 17 and set opening statements for Sept. 24 – a scheduling tweak she said was aimed in part at appeasing Manafort’s lawyers, who had requested a week delay in the trial’s start date of Sept. 17.
Yesterday the Wall Street Journal reported that Manafort sought a plea deal in this second trial, but failed to come to an agreement with prosecutors. Tomorrow is the deadline on whether Manafort will be retried on the first trial’s ten deadlocked counts.