And government lawyers are alleging that this money paid for some of Manafort’s personal expenses such as a $21,000 watch and a $15,000 jacket made of ostrich.
“A man in this courtroom believed the law did not apply to him”.
Accused Russian spy Mariia Butina didn’t exactly hide her purported ties to the Kremlin over the past two years, when she was a graduate student at American University, and she openly bragged about connecting President Trump’s campaign with Russia’s government.
Manafort is facing 18 charges, including accusations of filing false tax returns, failing to report foreign bank accounts and defrauding several banks.
In a shocking admission Wednesday morning, federal prosecutors said Rick Gates may not testify in the trial of his former business partner Paul Manafort. A judge said Gates faces between 57 and 71 months in prison for his offenses, though his sentence depends on the extent to which he cooperates with investigators.
Opening remarks by Manafort’s lawyer, Thomas Zehnle, gave an indication of his defense tactic – singling out Gates.
Mr Manafort is also accused of lying to banks to obtain millions more in loans after his employers, the pro-Russian party of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych lost power in 2014, and his vast income dried up.
“There was No Collusion (except by Crooked Hillary and the Democrats)!” Three Russian companies have also been charged.
A judge jailed Manafort in June over allegations of witness tampering as he awaited trial. “He worked for me a very short time”.
He’s the only American charged in the Mueller probe to opt for a trial. An acquittal would support efforts by Trump and his allies to portray the investigation as a “witch hunt”.
Some Democratic lawmakers said Trump’s tweets showed an intent to obstruct justice.
US prosecutors raised the possibility on Wednesday that an expected star witness may not testify against President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort even as the judge tried to rein in their portrayal of Manafort’s lavish lifestyle.
Prosecutors have said they would not present evidence of collusion at this trial.
The proceedings, which could last weeks, kept the attention of President Donald Trump who defended his 2016 hiring of Manafort. “Manafort placed himself and his money over the law”. At one point, his defense lawyers sued Mueller and the Justice Department, saying they’d overstepped their bounds by bringing a prosecution untethered to the core questions of Mueller’s investigation – whether Russian Federation worked with the Trump campaign to tip the election.
Manafort, 69, was wearing a black suit, white shirt and a tie. Jury selection begins Tuesday.
Given the strength of the evidence, however, some legal experts have suggested Manafort may be banking on an eventual pardon from Trump, who has called his former campaign chairman a “nice guy” who has been treated unfairly.
Five witnesses have been granted immunity from prosecution to testify against Manafort.
A list of 30 witnesses submitted by prosecutors includes luxury rug dealers, clothiers, real estate agents and others who would be expected to describe how Manafort spent money.