Prosecutors Tell Jury Ex-Trump Campaign Chief Manafort Hid Wealth

Paul Manafort made more than $60M consulting for Russia-backed party in Ukraine: prosecutors

In court on Wednesday, prosecutor Greg Andres asked Rabin, who produced TV ads for Manafort in Ukraine, about Rick Gates, Manafort's former business partner who is expected to be a star government witness, and Manafort associate Konstantin Kilimnik.

The highly-publicized trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, one figure involved in the Justice Department's Russian Federation investigation, started in Virginia Tuesday as attorneys began jury selection.

The charges against Manafort largely predate the five months he worked on the Trump team in 2016, some of them as campaign chairman.

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.

Manafort, the lone American charged by Mueller who has opted to stand trial instead of cooperate with prosecutors, was described by his defense lawyer as a hugely successful worldwide political consultant who left the details of his finances to others.

"A$3 s a result of time consuming trial preparation for that matter (which the Special Counsel has estimated will last approximately three weeks), Mr. Manafort requires additional time to confer with the Special Counsel regarding the contents of the Joint Pretrial Statement in this matter". He 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, prosecutors said.

Mueller is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election, including potential coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia.

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.

Ellis has scolded members of Mueller's team before, asserting back in May that the team was really interested in targeting President Trump.

He said Trump could help the public understand what is at stake in Mueller's investigation, which both Trump and Caputo have called a "witch hunt" aimed at ending his presidency.

"Of course, there will be no evidence about that", the judge added, and said that oligarchs are merely rich people.

Before the start of jury selection, prosecutors filed an expanded list of its evidence exhibits, including several email chains between Manafort and Stephen Calk, a Chicago bank chairman.

A total of 16 jurors, 12 regular and four alternates, will be chosen after being screened for potential bias.

Pres. Trump derides previous administrations for not telling him about Paul Manafort's alleged crimes before he hired him to run his 2016 campaign.

Expected to be a main witness, Gates was Manafort's right-hand man for years and has knowledge of their offshore accounts and work for Deripaska and in Ukraine.

"They're going to be seeing a guy who spent half a million dollars just on landscaping", Turley said.

Manafort has used similar arguments to challenge his indictments in Virginia and Washington. But Butina also appeared to have had a broader mission, The Daily Beast reports, detailing an encounter in which Butina urged legendary US financial executive Maurice "Hank" Greenberg to pour more money into the secretly insolvent Russian bank Investtorgbank, leaving observers "shocked and disturbed" at her audacity.

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