Prosecutors seek May 14 trial date for Manafort and Gates


Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III on Capitol Hill in June. (Andrew Harnik/AP)

Prosecutors with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III said Friday they will ask a federal judge to set a May 14 trial date for President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, and a business partner on fraud, conspiracy and money laundering charges.

The government stated its intention in a court filing Friday that also summarized how much evidence prosecutors have turned over as required to Manafort’s co-defendant, Rick Gates. The filing comes ahead of a hearing Tuesday to update U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson of Washington on the status of the case.

Manafort, 68, and his longtime deputy Gates, 45, have pleaded not guilty and remain under home detention while final details are worked out for their release on secured bonds of $10 million and nearly $5 million, respectively.

The two were indicted Oct. 30 in connection with Manafort’s secret lobbying for a Russian-friendly political party in Ukraine in the first publicly disclosed criminal charges in Mueller’s investigation probes into possible Russian influence in U.S. political affairs.

Separately, former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn and Trump campaign foreign policy aide George Papadopoulos have pleaded guilty to lying to investigators about their foreign contacts and are cooperating with investigators.

On Friday, Mueller’s team said it has turned over more than 590,000 records to Gates including emails, financial and corporate records, including 2,200 designated by prosecutors as “hot” or high priority records, and copies of information on 87 electronic devices such as laptops and phones collected through 19 search warrants. Thirty five of the devices were seized from Manafort’s house, the filing says.

The number of records in the case has ballooned since prosecutors made a similar disclosure Dec. 8, when it gave both defendants about 400,000 items, including contents of 36 memory devices and disclosed 15 warrants.

The latest four-page filing states that the government’s investigation has continued and that on Friday, prosecutors stated, the government turned over a sixth batch, including foreign bank records obtained since the two men were charged.

In a footnote, prosecutors noted they are not turning over to Gates records that they obtained from Manafort that are not relevant to Gates’s case, and vice versa. They also noted that “electronic evidence seized from Manafort’s residence was previously made available to Manafort earlier this year (to the extent that the FBI was able to access the devices/media seized at that time).”

The special counsel’s office recently added a veteran cyber prosecutor to its team.

The Washington Post reported Wednesday that the cyber expert, Ryan K. Dickey, was assigned to Mueller’s team in early November from the Justice Department’s computer crime and intellectual-property section, joining 16 other lawyers.

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