Manafort appears in court as trial kicks off

by Garry Watts August 1, 2018, 0:33
Manafort appears in court as trial kicks off

Uzo Asonye, one of the prosecutors in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation probe, made the comment as part of the prosecution's opening statement as the trial of Manafort got underway in a Virginia federal court.

Manafort, 69, has pleaded not guilty to 18 counts of bank and tax fraud related to his lobbying activities on behalf of the former Russian-backed government of Ukraine.

Opening arguments are slated to begin Tuesday afternoon following the final selection of jury members.

Paul Manafort, who served as President Trump's campaign chairman from May to August of 2016, is the first person to go to trial in a case handled by prosecutors working with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III as he probes Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

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

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. 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 USA authorities assert has connections to Russian intelligence.

He's also accused of lying to scam millions of dollars in loans. Asonye said the evidence would show he lied to the Internal Revenue Service.

Donald Trump thinks Montenegro might start World War III
They are very aggressive people, they may get aggressive, and congratulations, you are in World War III . But Montenegrin officials insist Trump has nothing to worry about.

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. Asonye described how Manafort snapped up expensive real estate in the United States, spent millions of dollars on renovating his properties and more than a half million dollars on "fancy clothes".

The tax and bank fraud trial represents the first test of Mueller's ability to win a conviction of a former Trump aide.

Ellis has since ruled that Mueller is acting within the scope of his investigation in pursuing charges against Manafort.

Prosecutors in Manafort's case have said they may call 35 witnesses, including five who have immunity agreements, as they try to prove that he laundered more than $30 million in Ukrainian political consulting proceeds and concealed the funds from the IRS.

Yanukovych's ouster in 2014 is relevant, the special counsel says, "because it explains Manafort's work for a different political party (the Opposition Bloc) and why his income later drops dramatically, which is relevant to the bank frauds that he later committed". Jury selection begins Tuesday. Manafort's wife, Kathleen, was sitting behind him in the courtroom.

That task comes as the president and his lawyer-spokesperson, Rudy Giuliani, have intensified their attempts to undermine the Mueller investigation in the court of public opinion and as the US president continues to waffle on whether he'll sit for a private interview with prosecutors.

FILE PHOTO: Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort departs from U.S. District Court in Washington, U.S., February 28, 2018.

Recommended News


TOP News

The President Says 4.1% GDP GROWTH is JUST THE BEGINNING
The U.S. economy had a blockbuster second quarter, with gross domestic product surging 4.1 percent, its fastest pace since 2014. "At least half the growth is coming from two trade-related issues - a soybean-led export burst and inventory accumulation".

Cristiano Ronaldo fined €3.2 million in tax evasion case
The amount is likely to be only part of the €19 million total he will repay. Under Spanish law, he was allowed to exchange the penalty for a fine.

Sony IMX586 promises to put 48 effective megapixels in phones
One of the "world's first" claims on the new sensor is that it has the smallest pixels - at 0.8µm. For bright low-noise photos and videos when shooting at night.

Why Kevin Durant Believes LeBron James’ Move To Lakers Was ‘Perfect’
Monday's grand opening was expected to be the time James would make his first public remarks since signing with the Lakers. The I Promise School is a renovated school building located down the street from St.

IN politicians come to Coats' defense after Russian Federation summit — IN Focus
Special Counsel Robert Mueller is still investigating potential collusion between Russian Federation and Trump's campaign. During his Twitter rampage, Trump also claimed that the wiretap order was granted on false and misleading information.

McConnell says Putin unwelcome on the Hill
Trump came under widespread criticism following his handling of a summit with NATO's leaders and his meeting last week with Putin. Democrats are seeking to take control of the House of Representatives and Senate in the November elections from the Republicans.

Demi Lovato still 'very, very sick' and suffering 'complications'
According to the source, the plan is to get Lovato into treatment when she's released from the hospital. Last week it was reported that Lovato's overdose symptoms were so severe, her life was in danger.

Longest Lunar Eclipse of the Century
Part of the Moon's shadow fell near the South Pole, so partial coverage of the Sun was visible in parts of southern Australia. The Moon will be gradually covered by the Earth's shadow and the totality phase will begin at 1h 00m IST on July 28.

Priyanka Chopra, Nick Jonas engaged?
I only know that my film will not feature Priyanka", she signs off. Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra at JFK airport in June.

Israeli Navy Hijacks 'Freedom Flotilla' Attempting to Break Gaza Blockade
The group said the supplies were "a small but important contribution to the increasingly dire medical situation" in Gaza . However, the first democratically government of Palestine was not recognised by United States and Israel.