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Judge to weigh relevance of Trump at upcoming Manafort trial

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A judge in Virginia has asked to hear arguments Friday on whether jurors at Paul Manafort’s trial should hear about his connections to President Donald Trump.

Manafort, who served for several months as Trump’s campaign chairman in 2016, is scheduled to go on trial next month in federal court in Alexandria. Manafort is charged in Virginia with hiding tens of millions of dollars from the IRS that he earned advising pro-Russia politicians in Ukraine.

Manafort’s lawyers argue that because his alleged misconduct occurred predominantly in the years before he worked with Trump, jurors should not hear evidence about Manafort’s campaign ties to Trump. The defense lawyers say jurors will inevitably have strong feelings about Trump that could taint their objectivity.

Manafort faces a separate indictment in Washington as well.

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