Conway on Manafort trial 'nothing to do with the campaign'

01 August, 2018, 00:35 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • Manafort trial poses first courtroom test for Mueller

Manafort faces charges in two different courts and could spend decades in prison if convicted.

But Uzo Asonye, an attorney with the special counsel's office, told jurors that Manafort considered himself above the law, and resorted to bank fraud when his overseas income couldn't support his lifestyle.

The trial, starting with selection of a 12-member jury, coincides with growing speculation that Mr Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen may co-operate with federal investigators against the president. And they won't learn that Manafort's co-defendant in the Washington case is a business associate named Konstantin Kilimnik, who lives in Russia and who US authorities assert has connections to Russian intelligence.

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".

Prosecutors plan to produce almost three dozen witnesses during the trial, including Manafort's former associate Richard Gates, who is cooperating with the government after pleading guilty to lesser charges in February.

Prosecutors said in court filings that the evidence, which includes "memoranda, emails, and photos" shows Mr. Manafort earned more than he claimed on his tax returns.

Mr Trump has expressed sympathy for Mr Manafort since the charges were laid, calling him a "nice guy".

Prosecutors preparing witnesses for the upcoming trial of President Donald Trump's one-time campaign chairman Paul J. Manafort are advising them to avoid mentioning Trump's name, ABC News has learned.


In addition to jury selection, Tuesday morning included a hearing regarding a motion to block Ukraine-related documents from being introduced as evidence at the trial.

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. Manafort worked on Trump's presidential campaign for five months and attended a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russians that is a focal point of Mueller's probe into possible collusion between the campaign and the Kremlin.

President Trump denies any collusion with Russian Federation, and today tried to make the case publicly that collusion would not be a crime anyway.

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

A Manafort conviction would give momentum to Mueller, who has indicted or secured guilty pleas from 32 people and three companies since the probe started 14 months ago.

"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.

Mueller has submitted more than 500 pieces of evidence, including tax filings and mortgage statements, and pictures of Manafort's expensive watches and homes.

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