The jury who will hear the next criminal trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort will not be sequestered, a federal judge said Tuesday as she began the process of gathering information that will be used during jury selection later this month.
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said jurors will be allowed to go about their regular lives during the trial, making it important that they avoid discussing the case or watching any media coverage. Jackson said jurors should even turn off the push notifications on their phones to avoid reading anything about Manafort's case.
Jackson made the comments as about 125 jurors assembled at the federal courthouse in Washington to fill out lengthy questionnaires. Ultimately, 12 jurors and at least three alternates will be seated for Manafort's trial.
The trial in the District of Columbia, scheduled to start later this month, will be Manafort's second on charges brought by special counsel Robert Mueller's office. Last month, Manafort was convicted by a northern Virginia jury of eight counts of filing false tax returns, failing to report foreign bank accounts and bank fraud. The jury deadlocked on 10 other counts. Jurors in that case were not sequestered.
Manafort's trial in Washington will largely focus on his lobbying and political consulting work for Ukrainian interest and what prosecutors have said was a scheme to surreptitiously carry out foreign lobbying work in the U.S.
Manafort is charged with acting as an unregistered foreign agent, conspiring to launder money and lying to the FBI and the Justice Department about his lobbying work. He also faces charges of obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice accusing him and an associate of witness tampering.
The associate, Konstantin Kilimnik, has been accused by prosecutors of having ties to Russian intelligence services. Kilimnik, who is believed to be living in Russia, has not appeared in a U.S. court to face the charges.
Manafort's trial is expected to last three to four weeks. The case does not involve his work on the Trump campaign or Russian interference during the 2016 presidential election.
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