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Attorneys for Paul Manafort file request to move trial to Roanoke

In this July 17, 2016, file photo, then-Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort talks to reporters on the floor of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. (Associated Press)

ROANOKE, Va. (WSET) -- Attorneys for Paul Manafort want to move his federal trial to Roanoke, Virginia.

They filed a change of venue request in federal court Friday, saying the voters in the Roanoke area are more split than in Alexandria and would be less likely to be prejudiced against him.

Lawyers say Manafort is locked in a jail cell in Virginia for 23 hours a day, excluding visits from the attorney general, and has been in solitary confinement because the facility can’t guarantee his safety.

Manafort was jailed last month after a federal judge revoked his house arrest over allegations of witness tampering in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

He is one of four Trump campaign or White House aides to have been charged in Mueller’s investigation. Three others — George Papadopoulos, Michael Flynn and Rick Gates — have pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with investigators.

Manafort is charged in Virginia with hiding tens of millions of dollars from the IRS that he earned advising pro-Russia politicians in Ukraine.

He also faces charges in Washington of money-laundering conspiracy, false statements and acting as an unregistered foreign agent for Ukrainian interests.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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