Manafort Drops Appeal of Civil Case Against Mueller

Manafort Drops Appeal of Civil Case Against Mueller

Manafort Drops Appeal of Civil Case Against Mueller

According to the report, special counsel Robert Mueller's case is focused exclusively on accusations that Manafort committed financial crimes, ranging from tax evasion to bank fraud, that have no direct ties to his campaign work.

The outcome of the trial, which is expected to last three weeks, could affect the momentum of Mr. Mueller's 14-month-long investigation into interference in the 2016 election, even though the charges cite activities that predate the Trump campaign and don't relate to any potential allegations of collusion with Russian Federation by Trump associates.

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Manafort is accused of failing to pay taxes on millions of dollars he was paid by a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine, and with lying to American banks to borrow millions more when that work dried up.

They will also argue that Manafort fraudulently obtained millions more through a series of bank loans, including some he obtained while working with the Trump campaign. The defense had anxious voters in Northern Virginia leaned more Democratic than in the western part of the state in 2016, but the Reagan-appointed judge said that was not the standard to assess whether a defendant could receive a fair trial.

Both men were top officials in Trump's campaign, but that is not part of the criminal case against Manafort in this trial. The 12-person jury comprises six men and six women.

One potential witness was even told to be cautious when speaking of Manafort's NY residence - he owns a condominium in Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan, sources told ABC News.

Jury selection is underway in the trial of Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman.

"On the basis of the record presented thus far, there is no reason to believe that fair and impartial jurors can not be found in the Eastern District of Virginia", the judge concluded.

Gates has since pleaded guilty and agreed to help prosecutors with their case, as one of the government's star witnesses.

"It seems to me we're seeing deeper ties that Manafort has had financially with his business deals in the Ukraine and with Russian Federation", said Shanlon Wu, a former lawyer for Manafort associate Rick Gates, who pleaded guilty in February and is aiding Mueller's probe.

The trial is not expected to reveal many new details about Manafort's time as the chairman of the Trump campaign, and prosecutors have said they are not planning to introduce any evidence suggesting coordination between the campaign and Russia's influence operations. That was an apparent reference to one of the expensive purchases Mr. Manafort allegedly made which prosecutors said they planned to describe at trial. He's also charged with bank fraud conspiracy for attempting to get a separate $5.5 million loan for a brownstone in Brooklyn, prosecutors say.

As president, Trump has downplayed Manafort's role in the campaign.

But the trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, set to begin Tuesday in a suburban Washington, D.C., courthouse, promises to upend those low expectations.

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis made several jokes during the jury selection process, including about the quality of the lunches jurors will be provided.

Manafort's bail was revoked in June while he was on house arrest, after prosecutors accused him of tampering with witnesses.

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