Jury Picked for Trial of Ex-Trump Campaign Chairman Manafort

Posted August 01, 2018

He is expected to testify against Manafort in the trial.

During his three-week trial, prosecutors plan to lay out Mr Manafort's extensive dealings with the pro-Russian Ukrainian political party of Viktor Yanukovych, who was deposed as Ukraine's president in 2014.

Defense attorney Thomas Zehnle said in his opening statement that Manafort trusted others to keep track of the millions of dollars he was earning from his Ukrainian political work.

The nine bank fraud and conspiracy charges alone carry maximum sentences of 30 years each, and Ellis noted in April that Manafort could be facing the rest of his life behind bars if convicted.

Prosecutors say he hid millions of dollars in income from lobbying for Ukrainian politicians, failed to pay taxes while spending the money on United States real estate and luxury purchases, and lied to banks in order to take out more than $20 million in loans. He has also put distance between himself and Mr Manafort's charges, saying in a tweet: "This is years ago, before Paul Manafort was part of the Trump campaign".

Manafort was initially ordered to remain under house arrest as he awaited trial, but U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who is presiding over the case in the District of Columbia, sent him to jail in June after prosecutors flagged evidence that Manafort had been trying to influence the testimony of potential witnesses.

Protesters hold their banners in front of the Alexandria Federal Court in Alexandria, Virginia on day one of Paul Manafort's trial.

The US President's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, is to stand trial on tax evasion and bank fraud charges (file photo). So far, 32 people and three companies have been charged by Mr Mueller.

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"What the Justice Department has apparently - this comes out of Manafort's camp - what they have looked at is the question whether he ought to be prosecuted for failing to register as a foreign agent for the work he did for this Ukrainian political faction", said McCarthy. The Trump administration has insisted that the charges against Manafort have nothing to do with the campaign.

Lawyers for the special counsel have, however, said that "the government does not intend to present at trial evidence or argument concerning collusion with the Russian government".

Asonye told jurors the evidence would show Manafort hid "tens of millions of overseas income" to avoid paying taxes.

Manafort has pleaded not guilty to the charges in Virginia, as well as to a separate indictment in federal court in Washington, D.C. The president criticized Mueller by name over the weekend and continues to refer to the special counsel investigation into Russian election interference as a "witch hunt" and "an illegal scam".

Jury selection is set to begin in the trial of President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman.

"Hearing the voice of so many Americans who felt unrepresented by our government, Paul helped to define Donald Trump's core beliefs and, along with other remarkably talented individuals, they achieved what is believed to be one of the greatest victories in the annals of any presidential campaign", the defense fund site said.

At the centre of all this will be another Trump campaign aide, Rick Gates, who spent years working for Manafort in Ukraine and is also accused of helping him falsify paperwork used to obtain the bank loans.

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