Trial of Ex-Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort Set To Begin

Prosecutors say President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman orchestrated a multimillion-dollar conspiracy to evade USA tax and banking laws, leaving behind a trail of lies as he lived a lavish lifestyle.

The case is being prosecuted by the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election.

Mueller's team says Manafort's position in the Trump campaign is relevant to some of the bank fraud charges.

Despite a focus on financial crimes, the trial could yield politically damaging headlines about a man who ran Mr Trump's campaign for three months and attended a June 2016 meeting with Russians offering damaging information on Mr Trump's Democratic rival Hillary Clinton that is now a focal point of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's 14-month-old investigation.

Manafort appeared at the federal courthouse in Alexandria, Va., wearing a black business suit.

Gates was named as a co-defendant in the initial indictment handed down against Manafort last October.

Court papers allege that he "generated tens of millions of dollars in income" from his work in Ukraine and "engaged in a scheme to hide income from United States authorities".

Turley also said he believes "jurors are not likely to identify or empathize with Paul Manafort", whose lavish spending and lifestyle is outlined in court documents. According to prosecutors, he spent $6.4 million on real estate and $7.3 million on home renovations.

The charges against Manafort largely predate the five months he worked on the Trump team in 2016, some of them as campaign chairman.

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. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges. Manafort has filed a motion to have details of that work excluded from trial.

Prosecutors expect to call 35 witnesses in their attempt to prove that Manafort put more than $75 million in offshore accounts, concealed more than $30 million in income from the U.S. Treasury and lied when obtaining bank loans. Voir dire begins Tuesday. His wife sat behind him in the courtroom.

Jury selection is underway in the trial of Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman. National security lawyer Bradley Moss discusses the latest developments. Mueller's original mandate was to investigate not only potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation, but also any other crimes arising from the probe.

The special counsel does not allege Manafort played a role in Russian interference in the 2016 election. Gates, who cut a plea deal with Mueller earlier this year, is expected to testify against his former mentor.

An acquittal would support efforts by Mr Trump and his allies to portray the probe as a "witch hunt".

"I really hope the president continues to watch and make public comments about this case".

The exhibits show that Manafort did not just work on multiple Ukrainian elections but did political consulting and lobbying work for Yanukovych outside specific campaigns.

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