Judge in Manafort Trial Wants to Dismiss 30 Potential Jurors

(Bloomberg) -- The judge overseeing the bank- and tax-fraud trial of Paul Manafort has proposed dismissing 30 of the 70 or so potential jurors based on written questionnaires they filled out.

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III’s order on Wednesday gave no reason for seeking to excuse the group, who wrote responses to 27 questions on Tuesday. One question was whether they had any “truly exigent circumstance” that would preclude them from serving, such as prepaid travel arrangements or being the sole caregiver to a child or an elderly or disabled person.

Ellis said prosecutors for Special Counsel Robert Mueller and lawyers for Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, would have until Thursday to object to his decision.

Ellis will ask another 25 people to come to the federal courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia, on July 27 to fill out the questionnaires. That group will join the other potential jurors on July 31, when Ellis will question them to pick a group of 12 jurors and four alternates.

Manafort, 69, is accused of failing to tell U.S. tax authorities about millions of dollars he made as a political consultant in Ukraine before joining the Trump campaign, and lying to bankers to get $20 million in loans.

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