This is probably a good thing. It’s a short delay – and it will head off any future appeal claiming that Manafort’s lawyers did not have enough time to read all the relevant documents. Manafort was actually asking for a much longer delay (until after the conclusion of his other trial) – so this short delay could be viewed as a defeat of sorts for Manafort’s team.
This is an excellent article – and highly recommended for those closely following this trial. There’s a lot of intriguing background information. For example:
The defense is asking Ellis to keep from jurors details of the work Manafort did for Ukrainian politician Viktor Yanukovych, who was forced out of power by protests against corruption and fraud. Manafort is accused of using offshore bank accounts to hide millions of dollars he made working for Yanukovych and his political party.
In federal court in the District, Manafort is accused of failing to register as a foreign agent. But in the financial-crimes case in Alexandria, his attorneys argue, there is no need to delve into the source of Manafort’s funds.
“The fact that Mr. Manafort performed foreign consulting work, and that he was paid for that work, is not in dispute,” defense attorneys wrote. “Evidence concerning Mr. Yanukovych, the Party of Regions, and the work that Mr. Manafort performed on their behalf poses the substantial risk that the jurors will be sidetracked by Mr. Yanukovych’s controversial tenure as Ukraine’s president, his removal from power in the midst of public protests, the charges of treason brought against him by the Ukrainian government, and his current exile in Russia.”
The special counsel pushed back, writing in a Sunday filing that the work Manafort did in Ukraine is relevant to both the tax and bank fraud charges.
“Evidence of Manafort’s significant work for Ukraine is necessary to establish the source of Manafort’s money and quantify the corresponding amount of income earned,” Asonye wrote. “Further, Yanukovych’s loss of power in 2014 is highly relevant to explain the dramatic decrease in Manafort’s income in and after 2014 — which led to the defendant’s involvement in the charged bank frauds.”