Manafort can't suppress evidence seized at home, judge rules

Paul Manafort's request to suppress records taken by federal agents from his condominium in Alexandria, Virginia, in a July 2017 search was denied on Wednesday (July 18).
Paul Manafort's request to suppress records taken by federal agents from his condominium in Alexandria, Virginia, in a July 2017 search was denied on Wednesday (July 18).PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG) - President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman lost another attempt to throw out evidence gathered by Special Counsel Robert Mueller ahead of his money laundering and obstruction of justice trial.

Paul Manafort's request to suppress records taken by federal agents from his condominium in Alexandria, Virginia, in a July 2017 search was denied on Wednesday by US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington.

Manafort, 69, argued the affidavit used to win the search warrant lacked probable cause to allow agents to seize all of the electronic devices in his home - including an iPod touch and digital cameras. He also complained about the seizure of bank records related to other people.

Manafort, who has denied wrongdoing, has repeatedly failed to suppress evidence seized by Mr Mueller's team, including items taken from a storage unit that Manafort claimed had been improperly searched.

"The offences set forth in the affidavit justified a broad search of Manafort's financial records, and the facts alleged also supported the grant of permission to seize records belonging to others," Judge Jackson said.

Manafort, whose bail was revoked after he was accused of witness tampering, is also charged in Washington with failure to disclose his lobbying for the pro-Russian government of former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych.

In a separate case in Alexandria, he's set to go on trial next week on bank fraud and tax-related charges.

The judge ordered the government to return any paper documents or electronic devices that it has determined are irrelevant to the case by Aug 17.