The motions are sealed, and the government will not reveal the names of the witnesses unless they are actually called to testify.
The trial is one of two at which Manafort must defend himself against a number of charges ranging from bank fraud to failing to register as a foreign agent for lobbying work for pro-Russia politicians in Ukraine.
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John Cornyn of Texas, said sanctions may be preferable to a nonbinding resolution that amounts to "just some messaging exercise".
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Mueller didn't identify the five witnesses in a court filing on Tuesday in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia. They are requesting what is known as "use immunity", which would mean prosecutors could not use the witnesses' statements against them unless they were to make false statements.
Manafort's attorneys asked that the upcoming trial be moved from Alexandria, Virginia, southwest to Roanoke.
Manafort's prosecution arose out of U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into possible collusion between Russian Federation and U.S. President Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign. They also said potential jurors in the area were much more likely to have voted for Hillary Clinton than Trump in the 2016 election. The judge also said that "jurors' political leanings are not, by themselves, evidence that those jurors can not fairly and impartially consider the evidence presented and apply the law as instructed by the Court".