On Tuesday, a federal judge delayed setting a trial date in the case against Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, because the government has not yet provided all of its evidence to Manafort’s defense lawyers.
Manafort faces charges stemming from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election.
Citing the need for more time to pore through evidence as the government produces it and to file the necessary motions, Manafort’s attorney Kevin Downing said Tuesday, “We have limited resources. We’re not a big law firms.”
Although the government had sought a May start to Manafort’s trial, Judge Amy Berman Jackson said Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that a trial for Manafort and his business partner Richard Gates might not begin until the fall of 2018.
More from Reuters:
Manafort and Gates face charges that include failing to register as foreign agents for political work they did for a pro-Russia Ukrainian political party, as well as conspiracy to launder money and conspiracy against the United States.
Federal prosecutors said Tuesday they expect they will need at least three weeks to present their case to a jury. This will ensure continuing news coverage of the probe by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, which the Trump administration has repeatedly sought to discredit.
Trump has denied there was any collusion and Russia has denied meddling in the election.
Manafort, for his part, has also adamantly denied any wrongdoing.
Earlier this month, his lawyers took the unusual step of filing a civil lawsuit against Mueller, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and the Justice Department, accusing them of legal overreach. The suit asks that the indictment be dismissed because it alleges conduct that falls outside the bounds of what Mueller is permitted to investigate.
Prosecutors said Tuesday they intend to file a motion by Feb. 2 to have that civil case dismissed on the grounds that the issues it raises should be addressed in the criminal case.
Meanwhile, the judge gave Manafort and Gates until Feb. 23 to file motions that seek to address alleged defects in the criminal case.
The next status conference in the case will occur on Feb. 14.