BREAKING NEWS : Indiana coronavirus cases increase to 116,549; 3,351 deaths Full Story

CNN, news orgs ask court to unseal Manafort court documents

Five national news organizations, including CNN, are asking a federal court to unseal records from the criminal case ...

Posted: Apr 25, 2018 3:53 PM
Updated: Apr 25, 2018 3:53 PM

Five national news organizations, including CNN, are asking a federal court to unseal records from the criminal case against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and the investigation into Russian influence in the 2016 election.

Together, the effort by the Associated Press, Politico, The New York Times, The Washington Post and CNN marks the first time anyone outside of the government and defendants requested a judge unseal records related to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. The case could become an early test of the court's limits on keeping filings sealed as Mueller's work progresses.

The news outlets are asking to unseal all search, seizure and electronic data warrants in the Russia criminal investigation, especially related to Manafort. They also are seeking unredacted versions of filings and transcripts from court actions in the case against Manafort, who continues to fight his charges. Some of the hearing transcripts under seal relate to Manafort's campaign deputy Rick Gates, who has pleaded guilty and is cooperating with prosecutors.

"Under the common law, courts balance the public's right to information about the workings of the criminal justice system against the legitimate countervailing interests of the government; here, that balance tips decisively in favor of the public," the media group's legal team writes.

Many of Manafort and Gates' court filings are already public, and the court unsealed a smattering of hearing transcripts from their case last week.

Yet several Manafort case filings remain under seal or heavily redacted, the media group notes, such as the search warrants used to raid his apartment, access his email account, seize funds from three banks and access phone numbers. The sealed filings also include transcripts of hearings, likely about Manafort's attempts to change his house arrest terms and Gates' transition to a different legal team, in January and February.

The news organizations argue that publicizing the documents won't hurt the ongoing investigation, because many of the secret documents have already been discussed in court with the defendants or in the press. Mueller's team could redact some sensitive information in the documents if needed, while still making their existence public, the media group writes.

Additionally, many of the people named in the search warrants shouldn't be given the same level of privacy as most individuals, because they sought public office or roles in the presidential campaign, the organizations argue.

"Already, the President's former national security adviser (Michael Flynn) and two former campaign aides (Gates and George Papadopoulos) have pleaded guilty to committing felonies, and his former campaign manager stands accused in two federal courts of crimes related to his work for Russia-connected individuals and organizations," the court filing says.

"(O)ne of the ultimate questions in the Russia Investigation is whether the President himself unlawfully attempted to influence or obstruct the probe. The gravity and importance of this criminal investigation is second to none in our nation's history, and therefore the public's interest in the transparency of that investigation is paramount to all but the most crucial constitutional considerations."

CNN and several other news organizations and watchdog groups have separately sought government and classified documents related to the Mueller probe through Freedom of Information Act and other lawsuits, though none had challenged sealed criminal court proceedings.

The case has been assigned to Judge Richard Leon of the US District Court for the District of Columbia Circuit. Leon is also overseeing the trial of the lawsuit brought by the Justice Department brought to stop AT&T's planned acquisition of Time Warner, CNN's parent company.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 115407

Reported Deaths: 3566
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion21196765
Lake10493323
Elkhart6528110
St. Joseph6392106
Allen6178202
Hamilton4848109
Vanderburgh360930
Hendricks2715123
Monroe256036
Tippecanoe239113
Johnson2305123
Clark221457
Porter213647
Delaware194262
Cass19419
Vigo182526
Madison164375
LaPorte142340
Floyd135862
Howard130563
Warrick128038
Kosciusko121617
Bartholomew116457
Marshall100824
Dubois96919
Boone96846
Hancock92143
Grant91934
Noble90832
Henry79826
Wayne75414
Jackson7499
Morgan71638
Shelby67229
Daviess66328
Dearborn66028
LaGrange63411
Clinton59914
Harrison57624
Putnam56412
Knox5159
Gibson5114
Lawrence51129
Montgomery50821
White48514
DeKalb47611
Decatur45839
Miami4353
Greene42435
Fayette42113
Jasper3942
Steuben3807
Scott37311
Sullivan33712
Posey3240
Jennings31312
Franklin30725
Clay3005
Ripley2968
Orange28824
Carroll27413
Whitley2707
Washington2651
Wabash2648
Starke2637
Adams2613
Wells2614
Jefferson2483
Spencer2413
Fulton2382
Huntington2363
Tipton22622
Perry22113
Randolph2167
Jay1800
Newton17311
Owen1681
Martin1640
Rush1554
Pike1471
Vermillion1280
Fountain1232
Blackford1193
Pulaski1131
Crawford1050
Brown1043
Parke962
Benton880
Ohio787
Union780
Switzerland690
Warren391
Unassigned0226

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 148894

Reported Deaths: 4734
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin26704607
Cuyahoga17375656
Hamilton13036315
Montgomery7755162
Lucas7280364
Butler5933111
Summit5265252
Marion308847
Mahoning3053281
Warren302349
Stark2838175
Pickaway264344
Lorain230786
Delaware223120
Fairfield208753
Columbiana192980
Licking191063
Trumbull1883132
Wood184172
Clark179440
Clermont170723
Lake161951
Medina146039
Greene144432
Allen143069
Miami142851
Portage113266
Mercer111918
Erie93546
Tuscarawas93020
Wayne92767
Ross87924
Richland86119
Madison81512
Darke79942
Belmont71827
Geauga71349
Hancock69510
Athens6692
Ashtabula65748
Lawrence65322
Shelby62510
Auglaize5979
Putnam58523
Sandusky56320
Huron5427
Union5292
Scioto4986
Seneca47014
Ottawa46830
Preble43315
Muskingum4012
Holmes3859
Jefferson3364
Henry31213
Logan3093
Champaign3043
Perry2969
Clinton29413
Defiance28911
Brown2882
Knox28415
Washington26023
Morrow2572
Hardin25213
Jackson2506
Fulton2411
Ashland2374
Crawford2366
Coshocton23411
Fayette2306
Highland2273
Wyandot21012
Williams2073
Gallia18913
Pike1840
Meigs17410
Guernsey1698
Hocking1639
Carroll1527
Adams1294
Van Wert1173
Monroe11018
Paulding1080
Harrison633
Morgan470
Vinton473
Noble280
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Few Clouds
70° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 70°
Angola
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 73°
Huntington
Overcast
65° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 65°
Decatur
Scattered Clouds
73° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 73°
Van Wert
Scattered Clouds
73° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 73°
Warm, Summer-Like Weekend
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events