Former Trump Campaign Chair Heads to Trial

Former Trump Campaign Chair Heads to Trial

Jury selection is set to begin Tuesday morning. 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. Mr Manafort denies all charges, and at one point had sought to get them dismissed.

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".

Manafort faces 18 criminal counts, which centre on allegations he hid much of the $60 million USA he earned in Ukraine in undisclosed overseas bank accounts and failed to pay taxes on the money.

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.

Manafort is also charged in federal court in Washington with undisclosed foreign lobbying and money laundering.

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.

The results of the questionnaires were placed under seal, with copies being given to both sides for use in the jury selection process this week. His wife sat behind him in the courtroom. Last month, Mueller's team disclosed in a court filing what it said was a $10 million loan to Manafort from Oleg Deripaska, a magnate with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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Mueller was appointed by the U.S. Justice Department's No. 2 official previous year to take over an FBI investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 presidential election and whether there was unlawful co-ordination between Trump's campaign and Moscow.

The focus on Manafort's personal dealings, rather than Russian Federation, aren't surprising considering the Special Counsel indictment didn't mention the Kremlin, the 2016 presidential election or collusion a single time.

"It seems to me we're seeing deeper ties that Manafort has had financially with his business deals in the Ukraine and with Russian Federation", said Shanlon Wu, a former lawyer for Manafort associate Rick Gates, who pleaded guilty in February and is aiding Mueller's probe.

On the other hand, if he is convicted, it will "demonstrate to the public that President Trump's claims that the whole investigation is a witch hunt is not an accurate accusation", Dressler said.

The special counsel has also enlisted as many as 35 witnesses to testify against Manafort. The second trial, scheduled for September in the District of Columbia, involves allegations that he acted as an unregistered foreign agent for Ukrainian interests.

In recent days, prosecutors have submitted a list of hundreds of exhibits they plan to introduce at trial, including financial documents and photographs of luxury cars and real estate properties Manafort bought with his Ukrainian income.

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