Lawyers for Paul Manafort suggested President Donald Trump is making it harder for his ex-campaign boss to get a fair trial as they asked a judge to move his next case on charges brought by special counsel Robert Mueller out of a Washington, D.C. federal court.
The lawyers cited the extensive and largely negative publicity the trial has generated for Manafort, as well as a botched tweet by the president about the case.
Manafort is asking that the trial on money laundering and other charges, which is due to begin jury selection on September 17, be transferred more than 200 miles away to US District Court in Roanoke, Virginia.
“A fair trial will be impossible without a change of venue to a more neutral and less media saturated locale,” Manafort’s lawyers argued in the motion, which was made public Wednesday.
His lawyers also said that Manafort has “become an unwilling player in the larger drama between Mr. Mueller and President Trump” — an association made worse by Trump weighing in on the trial.