Law & the Courts

Judge Orders Mueller to Name Key Players in Manafort’s Ukraine-Lobbying Operation

Paul Manafort arrives at a hearing at U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., January 16, 2018. (Yuri Gripas/Reuters)

A federal judge has ordered Special Counsel Robert Mueller to identify by Friday all of the individuals and companies involved in former Trump-campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s Ukraine-lobbying operation.

Mueller will be required to turn over to the defense the names of top European politicians who participated in Manafort’s efforts to lobby on behalf of Ukraine without registering as a foreign agent, as is required under U.S. law, Politico first reported.

The Tuesday ruling also requires the special counsel to identify other witnesses whose testimony Manafort has been accused of trying to influence — an accusation that resulted in two new felony obstruction of justice charges last week.

“While the government may be correct that the law does not necessarily require the Court to order the requested disclosure, the Court has broad discretion to resolve a motion for a bill of particulars after weighing the parties’ interests, and here, defendant is obliged to prepare for a complex trial with a voluminous record within a relatively short period of time, and he should not have to be surprised at a later point by the addition of a new name or allegation,” U.S. District Court judge Amy Berman Jackson wrote.

The decision is a welcome relief for Manafort’s embattled defense team, which is currently representing him in federal courts in Virginia, where Jackson is presiding, and Washington, D.C., where their client faces faces charges of money laundering, failing to register as a foreign agent, and obstruction of justice. Manafort has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

While Mueller’s attorneys resisted calls to identify the other witnesses in the case — likely due to the constraints placed on their ability to charge individuals and companies not currently on the list — the most prominent individuals that will likely be named, including former Italian prime minister Romano Prodi and former Austrian chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer, who have both acknowledged involvement in Manafort’s foreign-lobbying campaign.

Mueller’s team must hand over the list of names to Manafort’s lawyers by Friday but will not be required to make the names public.

Jack Crowe — Jack Crowe is a news writer at National Review Online.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Fight for Kavanaugh 

The cynics — or, perhaps more precisely, the realists — believed that the Democrats were playing for time in the hopes of finding another accusation against Brett Kavanaugh. The cynics were right. The New Yorker stooped to publish a shoddy story alleging that Kavanaugh exposed himself to a woman while he ... Read More
White House

What Is Hillary Clinton Thinking?

When Homer Simpson looks in the mirror, he sees ripped chest muscles and arms like the trunks of beech trees. When Hillary Clinton looks in the mirror, she sees America’s sweetheart. She thinks: America adores me. She thinks: America already chose me to be president once! She thinks: Everyone is comparing me ... Read More
White House

Trump Stands By ‘Fantastic’ Kavanaugh

President Trump was supportive of his nominee to the Supreme Court during a radio interview set to be broadcast on Monday morning, in which he characterized Brett Kavanaugh as a “fantastic, fantastic man” and called into question allegations of sexual assault. In the interview — recorded on Sunday, ... Read More