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Manafort Demands to Know Why Feds Redacted Search Warrants

On Thursday, lawyers of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort  issued a motion, saying they wanted to get their hands on unredacted search warrant affidavits. At the very least, the judge should privately review the affadivits, and determine if the information inside is relevant to the defense, or to the basis on which the warrants were issued.

A previous motion by Special Counsel Robert Mueller said the redactions concerned people who gave the government information used to justified the probable cause for the search warrants, and concerned information about probes unrelated to the Manafort case, said Manafort’s attorneys.

“Fundamental fairness requires disclosure here, where the redacted names limit Mr. Manafort’s ability to investigate whether these individuals were reliable informants who had actual knowledge of the matters they allegedly discussed with the government,” Manafort’s motion stated. “Without knowing the identity of the informants, the defense has no ability to investigate, among other things, whether any of the informants have a criminal record, whether any of the informants had an incentive to provide investigators with false information, and whether any of the informants were subjected to coercive law enforcement tactics.”

As for the redacted information obstensibly unrelated to Manafort’s case, the attorneys wondered why it was included in the warrants in the first place.

Manafort is being prosecuted in connection to his work with the Ukrainian government. Charges include money laundering and bank fraud. Co-defendant Richard Gates pleaded guilty in February to lying to the FBI, and engaging in conspiracy against the United States.

[Image via BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images]

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