The trial of Donald Trump's ex-election campaign chief is set to begin, the first to emerge from an inquiry into Russian meddling in the vote.
Prosecutors from special counsel Robert Mueller's team will tell a jury in Alexandria, Virginia, that Manafort illegally laundered more than $30 million in money earned as a political consultant for pro-Russian officials in Ukraine, and hid that money from the IRS.
Manafort, who served as Trump's campaign chairman in 2016, was indicted past year as part of Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation, though his charges do not have to do with potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.
Prosecutors want to show memos, campaign ad scripts, political rally plans and other work Manafort did in an effort to prove that he made over $60million off the Party of Regions and its leader, Viktor Yanukovych, between 2005 and 2014.
"A man in this courtroom believed the law did not apply to him".
Manafort faces charges in two different courts and could spend decades in prison if convicted.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller's prosecutors were lectured by a federal judge Wednesday morning for the language they've used in the courtroom, as the trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort entered its second day.
"Paul Manafort travelled in circles that most people will never know and he's gotten handsomely rewarded for it", Zehnle said.
Prosecutor Uzo Asonye told the jury during his opening statement that Manafort considered himself above the law as he funneled tens of millions of dollars through offshore accounts. Asonye said the evidence would show he lied to the Internal Revenue Service.
He said Gates took advantage of his position overseeing day-to-day operations of Manafort's consulting firm.
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He's the only American charged in the Mueller probe to opt for a trial. Gates pleaded guilty in February to conspiring against the United States and lying to investigators and agreed to cooperate with the investigation. They hope to prevent jurors from seeing some documents and photos from Manafort's lobbying work in Ukraine.
Manafort has pleaded not guilty to all 18 criminal counts, which center on allegations that he hid much of the $60 million he earned in Ukraine in undisclosed overseas bank accounts and failed to pay taxes on it.
Manafort, 69, played an active role in the selection process, jotting down notes and chatting with his lawyers during questioning of the prospective panelists in federal court. Manafort's wife, Kathleen, was sitting behind him in the courtroom.
"I really hope the president continues to watch and make public comments about this case".
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But it was clear from the outset that the case would not address that question: Prosecutors did not once reference Manafort's work for the Trump campaign nor mention Mueller's broader and ongoing investigation into Russian election interference.
President Trump has wavered between showing sympathy for Mr Manafort and trying to distance himself.
While Trump has repeatedly railed against Manafort and the "witch hunt" on Twitter in recent weeks, he has not tweeted about Manafort specifically in more than a month. He said June 15 that Manafort received a "tough sentence" after his bond was revoked over allegations of witness tampering.
But Gates kept his name on them "so he could keep control", he said.