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Jury, Paul Manafort-the process begins
Jurors hear all about Russia, the cheat, or one of the other special counsel headlines. Peter Doocy has the details for the ” Special report.’
The former trump-campaign-Chairman Paul Manafort luxurious life-style was front and center during the opening arguments in his fraud trial Tuesday afternoon, as prosecutors said that he lied to his money before the law, while the defender recalled — and also the presiding judge-jurors, is the exorbitant wealth in itself is not a crime.
Also, prosecutors called their first witnesses in the case: the former Bernie Sanders ‘ campaign consultant Tad Devine, the closely with Manafort on several elections in Ukraine, including the successful 2010 presidential campaign of since-deposed pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych.
Devine, under cross-examination by Manafort’s attorney Richard Wesley, confirmed that Manafort’s former business partner, Rick Gates, treated, most of Manafort’s day-to-day business. The admission was significant because the defender Thomas Zehnle, said in his opening statement that Manafort was based to track to the other, the millions of dollars that he had earned from his Ukrainian political work, and misplaced his trust in Gates.
“The money comes in quickly. It is a lot, and Paul Manafort trusted that Rick Gates was tracking,” Zehnle said. “This is what was going to paid for Rick Gates.”
This courtroom drawing shows Paul Manafort, fourth from right, standing with his lawyers before U.S. district judge T. S. Ellis III, in the middle of the back, and the selected jury, seated left, during jury selection in the trial against him in Alexandria Federal court in Alexandria, Va., Tuesday, 31. Of July 2018.
Gates, also an ex-trump-helper, pleaded guilty and cut a deal with prosecutors and is expected to testify in the trial. Allegedly, he has worked with Manafort to some secure loans fraudulently distort the profit-and-loss statements.
The study is the first, the Special Council Robert Müller Russia probe, and it is an important test of the ongoing investigation, and that President Trump and top Republicans have long accused it of being politically motivated.
The case is not about an alleged Russian interference, or collusion, and instead focuses on allegations that Manafort to properly report his income on tax returns and defrauded banks multi-million-dollar loan.
SHOWDOWN IN VIRGINIA: THE BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY MANAFORT
In her opening speech in the process in Alexandria, Va., Prosecutors spent more than twenty minutes outlined expensive purchases, she said, Manafort, with money he earned working for Ukrainian oligarchs and the Ukrainian government, including Yanukovych.
U.S. attorney Uzo Asonye told the jury that Manafort considered himself above the law when he funneled tens of millions of dollars via offshore accounts for personal expenses, such as for example, a $21,000 watch and a $15.000-jacket made of ostrich feathers.
“All of these fees to run on a simple question: that Paul Manafort a lie”, Asonye said. “Manafort and his money is above the law.”
WATCH: GIULIANI, SAYS MÜLLER ABOUT A “LEGITIMATE INVESTIGATION”
But judge T. S. Ellis III, not interfered to remind jurors that wealth alone is a criminal, and he said chided Asonye in front of the jury that the “proof show” Manafort debt.
“It’s not a crime to be a lot of money and their wasteful spending,” Ellis said.
Ellis had sharply admonished members of the Mueller team in a tense preliminary hearing in may, said they were pursued, the case against the 69-year-old ex-trump-consultants only as a means to the opponents of the President.
Protesters Gayelynn Taxey, left, and Danny Hastings, standing in front of the Federal courthouse in Alexandria, Alexandria, Va., Tuesday, July 31, 2018, on the first day of Paul Manafort ‘ s trial.
“All of these fees to run on a simple question: that Paul Manafort a lie.”
– U.S. attorney Uzo Asonye
“You really don’t know about Mr. Manafort,” Ellis state, told lawyers at the hearing. “They’re really interested in, which can give the information that Mr. Manafort to lead you to Mr. Trump and a charge, or whatever.”
THE JURY, SITTING IN A HIGH-STAKES STUDY MANAFORT
Zehnle, Manafort’s attorney, also claimed in the opening arguments, Manafort foreign business contacts insisted on the payment to him with the overseas accounts.
“This is said the way you needed to do it,” Zehnle. “Paul Manafort, traveled in the circles that know most of the people never, and he was amply rewarded. We do not dispute.”
But on redirect-examination, prosecutors Devine got to recognize over a defense objection, he never had any offshore accounts in Cyprus, as Manafort is claimed to have done.
Devine, but was always positive about his experiences with Manafort, praises his work ethic and strategic sense
Security personnel from the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Protective Service, observe the environment around the Alexandria Federal courthouse in Alexandria, Va., on the first day of Paul Manafort’s trial, Tuesday, 31. Of July 2018.
Manafort team also denied that he tried to hide the money, and said that he simply did not understand the complexity of the tax code, how many Americans-and that his punishment should be, is a trial, not the possibility of hundreds of years in prison.
The pursuit of the strategy of focusing on Manafort wealth was not a surprise. The list of 35 potential witnesses rolled out in advance of the Federal study in the Northern Virginia signaled a strong focus on its luxurious style of life.
Robert Müller is ever to release his conflicts of interest in relation to President Trump, including the fact that we had a relationship with a very unpleasant & contested business, I turned it down to the top of the FBI (a day before the appointment as S. C.) & Comey is his close friend..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 29. July 2018
These potential witnesses include an employee in a car dealership, where Manafort wife bought a high-end Mercedes, a New York Yankees season ticket-seller and an employee at a clothing boutique, where Manafort reportedly splurged on suits in the value of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
WHO ARE THE 35 POTENTIAL WITNESSES IN THE MANAFORT CASE? EX-BUSINESS PARTNERS, FMR BERNIE SANDERS AND CAMPAIGN AIDE, AND MORE
Opening speeches started shortly after the jury sat in the case earlier in the day. The jury consists of six men and six women, with four alternates.
The study is expected to last around three weeks.
Also on Tuesday, a Federal appeals court Manafort rejected the request to be released from custody during the process.
Manafort has been held in solitary confinement for alleged witness tampering by the judge in his pending DC trial, judge Amy Berman Jackson. The separate study, which will start in September, includes the allegation that Manafort failed to register as a foreign agent, made false statements to the investigators and laundered money.
PRISON OFFICIALS SAY MANAFORT IN SOLITARY CONFINEMENT UNTIL HIS SAFETY FROM THE GENERAL POPULATION
Manafort’s lawyers have said that his confinement was unnecessary and unduly harsh, and hurt his ability to communicate with his defense team. You will have the opportunity to ask questions, to weigh the full appellate court or go directly to the Supreme court for immediate help.
With Justice Anthony Kennedy to retire effective Tuesday, it would likely decide to only eight judges, the matter in the coming days or weeks. It would be at least five judges to rule; a 4-4 tie would mean the lower court ruling would stand, and Manafort would remain in custody until after his separate trial in DC
Fox News’ Jake Gibson, Bill Mears, Anne-Marie Riha and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Gregg Re is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @gregg_re.