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Paul Manafort, former U.S. President Donald Trump 2016 campaign chair (R), departs after a status conference at the U.S. District Court following his indictment on tax fraud and money laundering charges in the special counsel's investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election in Washington, U.S. November 2, 2017. Also seen is Manafort's wife Kathleen (L). REUTERS/James Lawler Duggan - RC122799DE00

Manafort, Gates trial tentatively set for May as Russia probe continues

A judge has tentatively set a trial date for next year in the case of two former Trump campaign aides.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson says in a court filing Friday that the trial of Paul Manafort, the former campaign chairman for President Donald Trump, and his business associate Rick Gates will start on May 7.

That date is subject to change.

Manafort and Gates were charged Monday in a 12-count indictment alleging violations of money laundering, banking and foreign lobbying laws.

They’ve both pleaded not guilty and are free on bail but under house arrest.Their lawyers have sought to ease the conditions of their pre-trial confinement.

Court documents show Manafort plans to challenge the evidence obtained by special counsel Robert Mueller.

An attorney for Manafort said in papers filed Friday that he expects to file pretrial motions to suppress what Mueller “improperly obtained by search warrant, subpoena or otherwise.”

Manafort’s Virginia home was raided in July by FBI agents.

Lawyer Kevin Downing says in a filing that he also plans to file motions challenging the legal basis of the charges.

Court documents show Mueller thinks it will take three weeks to present a case against the ex-Trump campaign officials.

Meanwhile, three Republican House members are introducing a resolution that calls for Mueller to “resign from his special counsel position immediately.”

Mueller was appointed special counsel in May to lead the Justice Department’s investigation into Russian election interference and whether President Donald Trump’s campaign was involved. Since then, some Republicans have pushed back on the investigation.

Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida, Andy Biggs of Arizona and Louis Gohmert of Texas introduced the resolution, which would be nonbinding if passed. Republican leaders have shown little appetite for publicly pressuring Mueller.

The lawmakers say Mueller should step down because he was FBI director when a Russian-backed company purchased American uranium mines in 2010. They say he mishandled the case, which Trump has called the “real Russia story.”

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