Ex-Trump aide Manafort faces charges in first trial of Russian Federation probe

Paul Manafort made more than $60M consulting for Russia-backed party in Ukraine: prosecutors

In his opening statement, federal prosecutor Uzo Asonye said the case, "boils down to one thing: Did Paul Manafort lie?"

The first federal trial for former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is set to start tomorrow in Washington D.C. Leftists are salivating over what the trial could reveal about the 2016 presidential election, alleged Russian collusion and Manafort's relationship with President Donald Trump. Gates pleaded guilty in February to conspiring against the United States and lying to investigators and agreed to cooperate with the investigation.

At the center of much of the trial will be Gates, another Trump campaign aide who spent years working for Manafort in Ukraine and is also accused of helping him falsify paperwork used to obtain the bank loans.

"Unfortunately, his trust in Rick Gates was misplaced", Zehnle said.

Nor will they hear about the reason he's been jailed since last month after a judge revoked his house arrest over allegations that he and a longtime associate attempted to tamper with witnesses in the case. The nine bank fraud and conspiracy charges alone carry maximum sentences of 30 years each, and Judge Ellis noted in April that Mr Manafort could be facing the rest of his life behind bars if convicted.

The outcome of the trial, which is expected to last three weeks, could affect the momentum of Mr. Mueller's 14-month-long investigation into interference in the 2016 election, even though the charges cite activities that predate the Trump campaign and don't relate to any potential allegations of collusion with Russian Federation by Trump associates.

Prosecutors are seeking to provide details of Mr Manafort's work for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine, raising the possibility that new information about his Russian connections could emerge.

More news: The Russia Investigations: Will Michael Cohen Turn State's Evidence?

Ellis has scolded members of Mueller's team before, asserting back in May that the team was really interested in targeting President Trump.

Trump has called Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling, which includes potential collusion between Trump's campaign and the Kremlin, a "witch hunt".

On Tuesday, Mr. Manafort's attorneys accused Mr. Gates of being the mastermind behind the crimes lodged against their client.

"Paul Manafort shouldn't be here", he added.

After several hours of discussions with individual jurors, prosecutors from the special counsel's office and lawyers for Mr. Manafort rejected about 20 potential jurors.

Prosecutors and defense lawyers for Paul Manafort also picked three women and one man who were sworn in as alternate jurors.

The opening day focused heavily on the defendant's lavish lifestyle, as prosecutors said he lied to put his money ahead of the law. The second trial, scheduled for September in the District of Columbia, involves allegations that he acted as an unregistered foreign agent for Ukrainian interests. But Butina also appeared to have had a broader mission, The Daily Beast reports, detailing an encounter in which Butina urged legendary USA financial executive Maurice "Hank" Greenberg to pour more money into the secretly insolvent Russian bank Investtorgbank, leaving observers "shocked and disturbed" at her audacity.

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