Lawyers for ex-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort are raising concerns about a 2017 meeting between top law enforcement figures and Associated Press reporters, questioning whether “grand jury secrecy” was violated and revealing memos that say the reporters even offered investigators a “code” pertaining to their client’s storage facility.
The details emerged in a series of recent filings, including an effort by Manafort's attorneys to get his criminal trial moved from Northern Virginia, citing pretrial publicity.
“Mr. Manafort's legal issues and the attendant daily media coverage have become a theatre in the continuing controversy surrounding President Trump and his election," Manafort's lawyers wrote Judge T.S. Ellis, who is overseeing the bank and tax fraud case in Northern Virginia. A second prosecution, involving similar charges, is underway in Washington, D.C.
Arguing for a trial in Roanoke, Va., Manafort's legal team said an “inside-the-beltway jury” would be biased against their client.