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Paul Manafort trial: jury selection under way

Paul Manafort trial: jury selection under way

An FBI agent who participated in the raid previous year on Paul Manafort's Virginia condo is testifying on the second day of the trial for the former Trump campaign chairman.

One of those on-lookers keeping a close eye on the Manafort trial: the president.

Gates, who spent years working for Manafort in Ukraine and is also accused of helping him falsify paperwork used to obtain the bank loans, cut a plea deal with Mueller earlier this year.

Seven prosecutors from Mueller's office were expected to feature prominently in the trial, including veteran government attorneys Andrew Weissmann and Greg Andres, who returned to the government from private practice to work on Mueller's probe.

The Manafort charges do not relate to allegations of Russian meddling or collusion with Trump figures in the 2016 campaign, but rather focus on allegations that Manafort cheated on his taxes and engaged in other fraudulent activity.

Trump early on August 1 wrote on Twitter that "this is a awful situation and Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now, before it continues to stain our country any further".

Devine was also asked about Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian-Ukranian political consultant who he described as a translator for Manafort. At the same time, the Republican Party changed the language in its manifesto regarding the conflict in Ukraine, removing anti-Russian sentiment.

Manafort, Trump complained, was being treated worse than famous mobster "Alfonse" Capone.

The question was a strike at the defense, which argued Tuesday that Manafort was forced to open foreign accounts to receive payment for his political consulting work in Ukraine.

About 500 pieces of evidence have been submitted by investigators, including luxury watches and pictures of lavish homes, and up to 35 witnesses could be called.

U.S. Attorney Uzo Asonye shocked the courtroom Wednesday when he told Judge T.S. Ellis III the trial's supposed star witness, Manafort right-hand man Rick Gates, might not be called to the witness stand. He has since been co-operating with the investigation into Mr Manafort.

Injury-hit Manchester United 'in trouble' for new campaign, says Jose Mourinho
And the 19-year-old, who has only made eight senior appearances to date, is enjoying the experience so far, despite mixed fortunes for United in pre-season.

This courtroom sketch depicts Paul Manafort, fourth from right, standing with his lawyers in front of US district Judge T.S Ellis III, center rear, and the selected jury, seated left, during the jury selection of his trial at the Alexandria Federal Courthouse in Alexandria, Va., Tuesday, July 31, 2018.

At one point, an Federal Bureau of Investigation agent described the July 2017 raid on Manafort's Virginia condominium.

It's the first trial arising from Mr Mueller's investigation into potential ties between the Trump presidential campaign and Russian Federation. 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.

Appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1987, Ellis has questioned the scope of Mueller's probe and said Manafort's indictment seemed to be aimed at getting him to provide information on Trump. His investigation is ongoing.

Trump has vacillated between showing sympathy for Manafort and trying to distance himself.

It was Gates, the defense said, who was supposed to keep track of the money Manafort earned.

Rudy Giuliani, the president's personal lawyer, has indicated that Mr Trump could pardon Mr Manafort should he be found guilty.

In her ruling, federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson told Manafort to pursue his grievances against Mueller during his criminal proceedings.

Manafort, 69, has pleaded not guilty to tax and bank fraud charges.

The Virginia trial will be followed by a second one in Washington in September in which Mr Manafort is charged with money laundering, failing to register as a foreign agent and witness tampering.


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