WASHINGTON – The trial of President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman will open this week with tales of lavish spending, secret shell companies, and millions of dollars of Ukrainian money flowing through offshore bank accounts the pocket of the political adviser.
What is probably missing: Answers about whether the Trump campaign voted with the Kremlin during the 201
Paul Manafort's Financial Crime Trial The first one to emerge from the investigation of the Special Advisory Service Robert Müller will focus on his Ukrainian advisory work and touch on his involvement in the President's campaign only briefly.
But the other implications are unmistakable.
The trial is scheduled to begin on Tuesday The selection of the jury in Alexandria, Virginia, will give the public the most detailed insight into the evidence that has occupied Mueller's team all year round cumulating. It will bear witness to a defendant's business dealings and foreign relations entrusted to Trump's campaign during a critical period in 2016, including during the Republican Congress. And it's going to be a tricky time for the president as Mueller's team is pushing for an interview and while Trump is tightening his attacks on an investigation, he calls it a "witch hunt".
In addition to the intrigue, the expected spectacle of Manafort's deputy, Rick Gates, who testifies against him after filing a lawsuit against prosecutors, and the speculation that Manafort, who is being tried in two different courts and decades of detention, asked by Trump for a pardon.
"Maybe he thinks he did not do anything wrong, and because he did not do anything wrong, he's not ready to plead guilty to any crime – even if it's a lesser crime," said Jimmy Gurule, a Notre Dame Law professor and former federal prosecutor. "Obviously that's very risky for him."
Manafort, along with Gates, has been indicted in Mueller's extensive investigation, but he is the only American accused of choosing to go to trial rather than working with the government. The remaining 31 defendants have either reached agreements, including former White House security adviser Michael Flynn, or it is unlikely that Russians will enter an American courtroom. Three Russian companies were also charged.
The prosecutors in Manafort have stated they could call 35 witnesses, including five who have immunity agreements, if they want to prove that he has washed more than $ 30 million in Ukrainian political advisory funds from the IRS.
Jurors are to see photos of his Mercedes-Benz and his Hampton property putting green and swimming pool. There will likely also be testimonials on bespoke Beverly Hills clothing, high-end antiques, rugs and art, and New York Yankees Seasons tickets.
The luxurious lifestyle was funded by Manafort's political advice to the pro-Russian Ukrainian political party Viktor Yanukovich, who was deposed in 2014 as President of Ukraine.
Lawyers have been arguing over how many jurors will hear about his overseas political work, especially about his ties to Russia and other wealthy political figures.
US District Judge TS Ellis III, who will direct the process, warned the prosecutor's office to hold back, noting the current "antipathy" towards Russia and how "most people in this country do not distinguish between Ukrainians and Russians". He said he would not tolerate images of Manafort and others "at a cocktail party with scantily clad women," if they exist.
Prosecutor Greg Andres assured the judge that "there will be no pictures of scantily clad women," nor photographs of Russian flags. 19659018] "I do not expect a government witness to pronounce the word" Russia "," said Andres.
While the jury is listening in on Manafort's finances, they are not told anything about Manafort's other criminal case. in the capital of the country where he is accused of acting as an unregistered foreign agent and lied to the government.
Nor will you learn of the reason he was arrested since last month after a judge revoked his house arrest for allegations that he and a longtime employee were attempting to manipulate witnesses in the case. And they will not learn that Manafort's co-defendant in the case of Washington is a business friend named Konstantin Kilimnik, who lives in Russia and is alleged by US authorities to have ties to Russian intelligence.
Trump and his lawyers have repeatedly tried to play Manaforts connection to the president is not quite without references to the campaign.
Mueller's team says Manafort's position in the Trump campaign is relevant to some of the fraud allegations. The prosecution plans to provide evidence that a chairman of one of the banks has allowed Manafort to submit inaccurate loan information in exchange for a job in the campaign and the prospect of a job in the Trump administration. The administrative mandate never materialized.
The trial will give the public a first look at a defense that has so far focused less on the substance of the allegations than on Mueller's authority to put the case first. At one point, his defense attorneys Mueller and the Ministry of Justice sued and said they had crossed their borders by prosecuting the key issues of Muller's investigation – whether Russia was toppling the election with the Trump campaign.
Ellis rejected this argument, although he had initially questioned the motives of the special adviser. He noted that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who had appointed Mueller, had specifically authorized Mueller to investigate Manafort's business relationships. Mueller's original mandate was to investigate not only possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, but also other crimes resulting from the investigation.
"When a public prosecutor investigates these events and finds evidence of criminal guilt," Stanford law professor David Alan Sklansky said, "It makes no sense to ask him to avert his eyes."
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