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A federal judge says the trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former associate Rick Gates should not start in May, as requested by the Special Counsel conducting the Russia investigation, saying both sides need more time to examine evidence and file pre-trial motions.
The judge indicated Tuesday the trial may not begin until sometime in September or October.
A federal grand jury indicted the two former Trump associates in October on 12 counts of conspiracy, money laundering, making false statements and other charges in connection with their lobbying for Ukraine’s former pro-Russia President Viktor Yanukovych.
The charges are unrelated to the Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into allegations Trump’s 2016 presidential election campaign colluded with Russia to influence the election.
Last week, prosecutors for Mueller’s office indicated they would ask Federal District Court Judge Amy Jackson to set a May 14 trial date for Manafort and Gates and a corresponding motion schedule.
“The discovery has to get done and motions need to be filed,” she said during a status conference with prosecutors and lawyers for Manafort and Gates.Prosecutors told the judge they planned to file a motion to dismiss a January 3 lawsuit filed by Manafort’s lawyers challenging the Department of Justice’s appointment of Special Counsel Mueller and the legality of the indictment.The judge gave the two sides until Friday to decide whether they want that lawsuit transferred to her.
Manafort remains under house confinement, but Jackson said she will issue an order releasing Gates from house arrest.