Manafort motion to change trial venue rejected by Judge TS Ellis III

A federal judge on Tuesday denied former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s request to move his trial farther from Washington, D.C.

Manafort’s attorneys asked that the upcoming trial be moved from Alexandria, Virginia, southwest to Roanoke. They claimed that potential jurors in Alexandria were more likely to have supported Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election. They also cited extensive pretrial publicity as a factor.

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III disagreed with Manafort’s attorneys, saying there was no reason to believe Manafort would not get a fair trial in the Eastern District of Virginia. The trial is scheduled to start on July 25.

Ellis previously accused the Mueller investigation of targeting Manafort as a means of bringing down the president.


"You don't really care about Mr. Manafort,” the judge told Mueller’s team at a hearing in May. “You really care about what information Mr. Manafort can give you to lead you to Mr. Trump and an impeachment, or whatever."

He also suggested Mueller’s team lied about the scope of the investigation and was seeking “unfettered power.”

Manafort is facing charges including conspiracy to commit money laundering, making false statements and working as an unregistered agent of the government of Ukraine. His trail stems from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into potential coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign.

If convicted, Manafort could face decades in prison.

Fox News’ Gregg Re, Jake Gibson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.