Paul Manafort’s attorneys will challenge the validity of the warrant used during a no-knock raid of his home.
Indictments against the former Trump campaign chairman and his longtime associate Rick Gates were unsealed this week, and Manafort’s attorneys on Friday filed a motion to suppress evidence in the case, reported Business Insider.
Motions to suppress are commonplace in complex white-collar criminal cases, but they rarely succeed, a former federal prosecutor told the website.
The former prosecutor, Renato Mariatti, told Business Insider that Manafort’s attorneys would likely challenge the warrant by arguing that special counsel Robert Mueller misled the judge who granted it.
“The judge made an independent finding of probable cause,” Mariotti said. “So the issue Manafort’s lawyers raise will be: Did law enforcement mislead the judge or make material omissions from their search warrant affidavit?”
But he said there’s no reason to believe a court would grant their motion.
“It seems like Mueller’s team would have been very careful about crafting that search warrant, so that will be an uphill battle,” Mariotti said.
The motion likely is intended to give Manafort’s lawyers more time to work on their defense, he said.
“It puts the prosecution on the defensive, wastes the government’s time, and delays the prosecution,” Mariotti said. “But I think the chances of success are extremely low.”
Manafort had reportedly been under surveillance by U.S. authorities since at least 2014, and after the election, approved by a secret court order.