Manafort is first ex-Trump aide on trial in Russian Federation probe

Paul Manafort spent $18,000 on karaoke equipment court documents reveal

As a result of their work with Ukraine, Manafort and Gates made tens of millions of dollars between 2006 and 2015.

What's likely to be missing: answers about whether the Trump campaign co-ordinated with the Kremlin during the 2016 presidential election, or really any mention of Russian Federation at all.

A pretrial hearing on the issue is slated for 9 a.m. (1300 GMT) on Tuesday, before jury selection begins.

While the trial may touch on Manafort's communications during the campaign with his partners in the former Soviet bloc, the trial is not expected to focus on campaign ties to Russian Federation.

It was the summer of 2016, Paul Manafort was a campaign chairman, and his candidate, Donald Trump, was the newly crowned Republican presidential nominee.

Prosecutors are expected to argue that Mr Manafort's lavish spending on suits, homes and luxury items did not match the income declared on his tax returns and that he misled lenders when he borrowed tens of millions of dollars against NY real estate.

Manafort is charged with lying on tax forms and bank fraud.

Prosecutors plan to produce almost three dozen witnesses during the trial, including Manafort's former associate Richard Gates, who is cooperating with the government after pleading guilty to lesser charges in February.

Yesterday, prosecutors said in court filings that they intend to prove that Mr Manafort earned more than $60m (€51m) lobbying for the former pro-Russia Ukrainian government and failed to report "a significant percentage" of that.

Winning a conviction against the first person to go on trial in Mueller's probe would strengthen the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director's resolve and his team's credibility as President Donald Trump assails his inquiry as a politically motivated "witch hunt", legal experts say. The next day Gates pleaded guilty to conspiracy against the United States and to making a false statement to the government, which had occurred during his plea negotiations earlier that month.

"This is an exceptionally hard case for the defense", Turley told AFP.

The prospect of Manafort being found guilty on all charges could mean he spends the rest of his life in prison. "At 69, that must weigh heavily on his mind". The exhibits also "contain evidence about the identity of Manafort's sources of income in Ukraine, and in particular the oligarchs who instituted the practice of paying Manafort via foreign accounts", according to the filing.

"As a close business associate of Manafort, Gates can serve as a sort of narrator to help the jury understand the significance of these documents", Barbara McQuade, a former US attorney said in an email to TPM, pointing to the number of email exchanges including Gates that are referenced in Mueller's exhibit list.

Rudy Giuliani, a lawyer for Trump, said no one facing trial should expect a pardon, but he did not rule one out. Last month, Mueller's team disclosed in a court filing what it said was a $10 million (7.61 million pounds) loan to Manafort from Oleg Deripaska, a magnate with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

A jury that takes a long time to deliberate might be hung up on legal technicalities, "but it might suggest that [they feel] that Mueller is overreaching" by going outside his original mandate, he said.

He's been in jail since last month when the judge presiding over the Washington case revoked his bail for allegedly tampering with potential witnesses. Manafort left Trump's campaign soon afterwards.

Manafort's defence strategy is still unknown.

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