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Paul Manafort DC Trial & PreTrial Motions

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Posted on August 25 2018


Manafort DC Trial...


In order to keep Manafort’s cases and trial straight, for the PACER and docket wonks:

Paul Manafort DC (PMDC) Case No 1:17-cr-00201-ABJ

Trial Date: September 17, 2018

Judge Assignment: U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson

June 8, 2018 Special Council Mueller’s Team submitted a third superseding indictment, found here.

 18 U.S.C. §§ 2, 371, 981(a)(1)(C), 982, 1001(a), 1512(b)(1), 1512(k), 1956(h), * and 3551 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. §§ 612, 618(a)(1), and 618(a)(2); 28 U.S.C. * § 2461(c))


On August 24, 2018 the Government filed numerous motions and the actual paper count is just north of 1,265 pages of motions, transcripts and exhibits. Suffice to say it was a lot of reading. Arguably the PMDC Trial is extensively heavier in terms of documentatary evidence

🚨Search & Seizure Warrants:

On August 23, 2018 the Government filed multiple (redacted) Court authorized Search & Seizure warrants, a total of four. For docket wonks, documents 378-1 thru 378-4. See respective twitter thread for warrants and content. As noted in the orginal twitter thread there are a few new pieces of information that have not bee previously disclosed.




For example we learn that in August of 2017 the Government obtained access to various emails belonging to Rick Gates and Konstantin Kilimnik via their email address. This Court Authorized Search Warrant was executed on Rackspace US Inc (a data center) located in San Antonio, TX.


You can read the Warrant and respective FBI Agent’s Affidavit via the twitter thread below, Document Number 378-2, open Source link found here.



What I did find interesting (but I’ll remind you that this is SOP), is The Federal Savings Bank Seizure Warrant, which effectively froze Manafort’s access to >$1.1million cash was approved on the same day Manafort’s original indictment was unsealed. 



Concurrently a Seizure Warrant was issued for multiple bank accounts, what I found interesting is this particular Warrant has two names redacted, as you can see (up thread) other accounts held in Paul and/or Kathleen Manafort are not redacted.




Moving along, late last night the Government & Defense filed a Joint Pretrial Statement, open sorce link to the August 24, 2018 filing can be found here. Similarly to the run up to the EDVA Trial there are a flurry of motions, to include numerous motion in limine, below are a few highlights of last night’s filing:

The government anticipates that its case-in-chief will last approximately ten to twelve trial days.

Defendant’s position:

“Defendant has not determined whether he will present a defense case. Any defense case will require between three to four trial days.”


At present the DC Court has yet to rule on multiple in limine motions, below is a brief list and positions:

The Government request the Court issue an order for the following, which would essentially preclude Manafort & his defense team from arguing:

 “argument or evidence at trial (1) concerning selective or vindictive prosecution or the motive and mandate of the Department of Justice office leading this prosecution, ((2) suggesting that any government investigation into Manafort that preceded the Special Counsel’s appointment ended with a decision not to prosecute him.”

This is largely what the Government requested in Manafort’s EDVA Trial, part of the rationale is if, Manafort argues that there are civil remedies for some of the Counts as it relates to IRS & FARA, that would in fact confuse the jury:

...”order precluding the defendant from presenting argument at trial, or soliciting evidence concerning, (a) the absence of a civil Internal Revenue Service audit of Manafort or his companies or (b) the absence of any civil Foreign Agents Registration Act action against Manafort or his companies, or suggesting that such civil audits or actions were necessary or that the absence of such civil audits or actions was improper, indicative of a lack of evidence of a crime.


The Government also seeks to introduce evidence for two of Paul Manafort’s Businesses, to buttress their FBAR Counts. 

Davis Manafort Partners, Inc. and DMP International, LLC, never filed FBARs for the foreign bank accounts identified in the superseding indictment.


Defendant’s Motions are materially similar to his EDVA Pretrial motions, from all appearances Manafort is seeking to put daylight between his role as Donald Trump’s Campaign chairman. Manafort has further lodged objections to a few dozen instructions. Again that’s part of the Pretrial process. 

The defendant’s motion in limine seeking to preclude evidence or argument concerning Mr. Manafort’s role with the Trump campaign and allegations related to purported collusion with the Russian government.

preclude evidence or argument about the charges brought in United States v. Manafort, No. 1:18-cr-83


With respect to Manafort’s request to preclude the Government from arguing  various aspects of the EDVA Trial, it is an expected move on Manafort’s part, given that one could say his guilty verdict could prejudice the DC Jury. I suppose we will have to wait and see what the Judge determines. One thing to keep in mind the DC-Manafort Trial is much heavier both in documentary evidence and a greater emphasis on Manafort’s FARA and subsequent foreign lobbying. 


The government also notes below that it intends to introduce the defendant’s convictions for purposes of impeachment, pursuant to Federal Rule of Evidence 609.


Again Manafort wants to preclude the Government from arguing the events that lead to his being jailed. I think we should all be aware of the events leading up to Mr. Manafort’s incarceration during the Pretrial phase of his EDVA Trial...keep in mind it was the DC Judge who, based on a prolific amount of evidence ordered Manafort to be jailed. Witness tampering is with out a doubt impermissible, as such the DC Judge accordingly issued a revocation of Manafort’s release. 


Manafort Witness Tampering:



Manafort’s Instruction Objections:

If I am a betting person, I’d say the following passage in Jury Instruction Number 1 (pages 19-26 of the Joint Pretrial Statement, found here) may explain why Manafort has lodged an objection. Manafort hasn’t filed a response but I suspect his rationale will be the following statements (found on pages 18 & 19, respectively) Manafort will likely argue that the Pretrial Jury No 1 Instruction is highly prejudicial, conversely this Pretrial Jury Instruction largely mirrors the EDVA Trial. Again the Jury Instructions were included as Exhibits in last nights Joint Pretrial Statement, found here.

Instruction No 1,  Preliminary Instruction Before Trial, Pages 6-14


Conspiring to launder money from approximately 2006 through 2016 (Count Two);

• Acting between approximately 2008 and 2014 as an agent of a foreign principal without registering, in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) (Count Three);

• In approximately November 2016 and February 2017, making false and misleading statements to the Department of Justice (Counts Four and Five); and

• Between February and April 2018, attempting to tamper with witnesses and conspiring to witness tamper (Count Six and Seven).


What is somewhat interesting, given we learned this week in the EDVA Trial it was one lone juror that refused to explain to fellow jurors “why she held the reasonable doubt” and refused to explain to othe jurors in the EDVA Trial her rationale. So upon reading the Joint Pretrial Statement, seeing Manafort objected to the Government’s request to keep “alternate” jurors undisclosed. Perhaps I’m reading too much into this but to the best of my recollection Manafort didn’t object to this protocol in his EDVA Trial. 


You have probably noticed that there are fourteen (14) of you sitting in the jury box. Only twelve (12) of you will retire to deliberate in this matter. Before any of you even entered the courtroom, we randomly selected the alternates’ seats. I will not disclose who the alternate jurors are until the end of my final instructions just before you begin your deliberations


As expected Manafort raised objections of Jury Instructions as followed, again you can read the 222 page filing found here and use the index detailed below:

Instruction No 13, as to Count 1: Nature of the Offense, denotes two types of Conspiracy against the USA, Page 38

Instruction No 14, as to Count 1: Overview of Conspiracy to Defraud the United States, stating that Conspiracy itself is a “stand alone crime”, Page 39

Instruction No 15, as to Count 1: Essential Elements of Conspiracy to Defraud the United States, Reiterates the three elements needed to find guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, Page 40-42

Instruction No 16, as to Count 1: Overview of Conspiracy to Commit an Offense Against the United States (FARA), Page 43

Instruction No 17, as to Count 1: Essential Elements of Conspiracy to Commit an Offense Against the United States, as it relates to FBAR and aggregate elements of a Conspiracy,  Pages 44-48 but I’d like to draw your attention to page 48, entitled: Unanimity—Special—Conspiracy


Instruction No 18, as to Count 2: Nature of the Offense, FARA & Tax Evasion, Pages 50 & 51

Instruction No 19, as to Count 2: Essential Elements of the Offenses Charged, conspiracy to commit money laundering, Page 52-55

Instruction No 20, as to Count 3: Nature of the Offense, caused and aided
and abetted Companies A, B, and C, and others, including former senior foreign politician, primarily focused on Manafort’s work with Government of Ukraine, the Party of Regions, Page 56

Instruction No 21, as to Count 3: Essential Elements of the Offense Charged, acting as a Foreign Agent sans registration, Pages 58 & 58

Instruction No 22,  as to Count 4: Nature of the Offense, on November 23, 2016, and February 10, 2017, within the District of Columbia and elsewhere, the defendant, knowingly and willfully caused to be made a false statement of a material fact, regarding FARA. Page 59

Instruction No 23, as to Count 4: Essential Elements of the Offense Charged, making false and misleading FARA statements, Pages 60 & 61

Instruction No 24, as to Count 5: Nature of the Offense, “defendant falsify, conceal, and cover up by a scheme and device a material fact; to make a materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statement and representation”, Page 62

Instruction No 25, as to Count 5: Essential Elements of the Offense Charged



I could be wrong. But if you recall in previous pretrial motions in Manafort’s DC Trial he had previously put forth a vigorous fight to keep his past FARA letters out. Because this evidence would show, with zero doubt that Manafort was acutely aware of the FARA regulations, given Manafort received and acknowledged the DOJ letter, which subsequently lead to Manafort’s resignation of his White House job. Again this is using a Defendant’s prior statements.



FBAR & EDVA = NEW Evidence in DC:

The Government also filed the following motion giving notice that they intend to introduce evidence regarding Manafort’s contention about foreign accounts that he was under “no obligation to report”, see document number 382, some 399 pages, primarily transcripts from his EDVA Trial. I will say that Manafort gave the Government a pretty sizeable FBAR opening. Open Source Link found here

In the Eastern District of Virginia, the defendant contended that the foreign accounts were DMP and/or DMI accounts and that Manafort had no obligation to report these accounts on his personal returns or to file an FBAR. Evidence that DMP and DMI also did not disclose the accounts thus undermines this contention, and also serves to establish that Manafort’s failure to report the accounts was no accident. For these reasons, the district court in the Eastern District of Virginia permitted the introduction of this evidence. (emphasis added)



Case in point of my Prior Statements, what some of you may not know is in the DC Beltway Manafort is a known operative. Granted for the previous decade and a half Manafort been more of a Global operative, doing the Poltical bidding for some serious thugs & authoritarians.

However in the late 1980’s Manafort was what some would consider the DC Swamp. But still when Donald Trump decided to hire Manafort to “round up delegates” I think it is firmly established that Trump expected a dog fight during the 2016 RNC Convention. And never forget that the ONLY thing the Trump campaign fought for was the Ukraine Platform change. 

 August 14, 1988 RNC Convention & Campaign Ads:


June 19, 1989 HUD Scandal


 And my closing thought is...Remember what Manafort said during the 2016 RNC Convention, when CBS This Morning’s Nora O’Donnell asked him directly if Trump had any business dealings in Russia or with Russians. I don’t know why but this video makes me laugh. Every dang time. Because after all Donald Trump “hires the best people”:




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