Paul Manafort's bank fraud trial begins in Virginia

31 July, 2018, 19:26 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • Mueller's Team Releases List Of Key Witnesses Against Paul Manafort

According to the report, special counsel Robert Mueller's case is focused exclusively on accusations that Manafort committed financial crimes, ranging from tax evasion to bank fraud, that have no direct ties to his campaign work.

Trump has called Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling, which includes potential collusion between Trump's campaign and the Kremlin, a "witch hunt". It is set to last at least three weeks.

Prosecutors charge that Manafort used offshore accounts to avoid paying taxes on tens of millions of dollars earned as a political consultant overseas, and say he fraudulently obtained millions of dollars in loans from financial institutions. That is the process that begins at 10 a.m. Tuesday, when Ellis will dig into possible jurors' knowledge of and opinions on the case, as well as any personal experiences that might color their thinking.


Mueller's team added a few new items related to the loan Manafort allegedly obtained from Federal Savings Bank, run by Steve Calk, the banker interested in a Trump administration position. Five witnesses were granted immunity. Giuliani said he and Jay Sekulow, another Trump lawyer, had told the president: "This would be a very bad thing to do now".

Defense attorney Shanlon Wu, who is also not participating in the case, seconded the legal strategy, saying it would lessen the chance of a mistrial should Manafort's attorneys want to contest guilty verdicts over accusations jurors let their distaste for Trump influence their decisions. Trump has denied any collusion took place. Previously, he tried to challenge Mueller's prosecutorial authority, a move that included filing a civil lawsuit against the Justice Department. Some documents are necessary to show Manafort's connections with those consultants, prosecutors say. Gates, who cut a plea deal with Mueller earlier this year, is expected to testify against his former mentor. "He could expose himself to further criminal culpability if he has to expose the full extent of those ties". Three Russian companies have also been charged.

Gates, former national security adviser Michael Flynn and George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy adviser on the campaign, all have pleaded guilty.

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