Trial set to begin for ex-Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort

Trial set to begin for ex-Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort

Trial set to begin for ex-Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort

It's the first trial to result from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into potential ties between the Trump presidential campaign and Russian Federation.

But Zehnle disputed prosecutors' account that Manafort was trying to hide his earnings by storing money in bank accounts in Cyprus.

He said Trump could help the public understand what is at stake in Mueller's investigation, which both Trump and Caputo have called a "witch hunt" aimed at ending his presidency.

Over the next three weeks a jury in Alexandria, Virginia, is expected to hear descriptions of his lavish lifestyle and Cypriot shell companies, his ties with Ukrainian oligarchs, and allegedly fraudulent property deals created to deceive the U.S. tax authorities.

Manafort ran Trump's campaign for five months in the spring of 2016.

Prosecutors claim that Mr Manafort, who ran the U.S. president's election campaign for five months, hid more than $30 million of that sum in offshore accounts to evade taxes. Manafort faces 18 criminal counts, half of which carry a maximum sentence of 30 years.

Two Democratic consultants who worked with Manafort in Ukraine, Tad Devine and Daniel Rabin, are set to testify against him.

But according to a new report from the Associated Press, they're likely to be disappointed as the trial will focus on Manafort's business dealings and lavish lifestyle, not collusion (bolding is mine).

The charges stem from Manafort's decade-long lobbying and political consulting work for Ukraine's former president, Viktor Yanukovych.

He said Manafort had especially relied on Rick Gates, his business associate and now the prosecution's star witness, but that trust was misplaced.

Expected to be a main witness, Gates was Manafort's right-hand man for years and has knowledge of their offshore accounts and work for Deripaska and in Ukraine.

An activist holds a picture of former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort during a protest outside the Albert V. Bryan United States Courthouse.

Prosecutors made no reference to Trump in their opening statement nor discussed in any way Manafort's leadership of the Trump campaign, or the ongoing investigation into potential collusion between Russian Federation and the president's associates.

"There was No Collusion (except by Crooked Hillary and the Democrats)!" Trump denies any collusion with Russian Federation, and on Tuesday tried to make the case publicly that collusion would not be a crime anyway. He faces related charges in the District of Columbia, in a case that is scheduled to go to trial in September. That trial, set in the District of Columbia, involves allegations that the longtime political consultant acted as an unregistered foreign agent for Ukrainian interests and made false statements to the USA government.

While Gates and others, including former national security advisor Michael Flynn, have pleaded guilty, Manafort has refused to strike a deal and has insisted on having his day in court. Three Russian companies have also been charged.

"Perhaps he believes that he's done nothing wrong, and because he's done nothing wrong, he's unwilling to plead guilty to any crime whatsoever - even if it's a lesser crime", said Jimmy Gurule, a Notre Dame law professor and former federal prosecutor.

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