Manafort earned $60M from Ukrainian consulting work, prosecutors say

  • Manafort earned $60M from Ukrainian consulting work, prosecutors say

Manafort earned $60M from Ukrainian consulting work, prosecutors say

Prosecutors have said they don't plan to offer evidence related to the Russian Federation case, and that references to Manafort's association with the Trump campaign will be limited.

On Tuesday morning, he was set to travel about 100 yards, from the Alexandria Detention Center to the Albert V Bryan courthouse in Virginia, for the first day of his trial on multiple felony charges including tax fraud, bank fraud and conspiracy.

Gates will likely be called as a witness in Manafort's trial.

Defense attorney Thomas Zehnle focused much of his opening statement on the question of trust, particularly the trust that Manafort placed in his former right-hand man, Rick Gates.

He said Gates took advantage of his position overseeing day-to-day operations of Manafort's consulting firm. Manafort's arguments have not ended well for him of late in Virginia, and it was Jackson who ordered that Manafort's pre-trial release conditions to be revoked.

Paul Manafort is being tried in Alexandria, Va., on 18 counts of tax and bank fraud.

"Paul Manafort worked for Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and many other highly prominent and respected political leaders", Trump wrote.

Manafort, 69, was wearing a black suit, white shirt and a tie.

On Wednesday, the government says it will call another political consultant, Daniel Rabin, to take the stand, as well as an unnamed Federal Bureau of Investigation agent, among others.

Asonye, who described Manafort's "lavish lifestyle" in detail, alleged that Manafort held more than 30 bank accounts that "served no business objective other than to receive and hide income".

"He created cash out of thin air", Asonye said. Asonye described how Manafort snapped up expensive real estate in the United States, spent millions of dollars on renovating his properties and more than a half million dollars on "fancy clothes".

The comments were the first volley in the bank fraud and tax evasion trial.

They point to former associate Rick Gates, who has pleaded guilty to similar charges and is now cooperating in the Mueller investigation. Prosecutors appeared to be using his testimony to establish the nature of Manafort's work in Ukraine.

Mr Asonye said Mr Manafort created "bogus" loans, falsified documents and lied to his tax preparer and bookkeeper to hide the money, which he obtained from Ukrainian oligarchs through a series of shell company transfers and later from fraudulently obtained bank loans in the US.

What's likely to be missing: answers about whether the Trump campaign coordinated with the Kremlin during the 2016 presidential election, or really any mention of Russian Federation at all. While many in the courtroom laughed, including Manafort's lawyers, the defendant himself did not. He was actively involved in the jury selection, conferring with his attorneys and passing notes. Another man brought a John Grisham novel into the courtroom.

After bolstering Manafort's credentials, Trump quickly washed his hands of his former campaign chairman.

Trump has vacillated between showing sympathy for Manafort and trying to distance himself. At one point, his defence lawyers sued Mueller and the Justice Department, saying they had 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. Gates pleaded guilty earlier this year and agreed to cooperate with investigators. An acquittal would support efforts by Trump and his allies to portray the investigation as a "witch hunt".

President Trump denies any collusion with Russian Federation, and today tried to make the case publicly that collusion would not be a crime anyway. The indictment says he and associate Rick Gates moved money from Ukraine through foreign bank accounts to hide it from the Internal Revenue Service.