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Ex-Trump aide Manafort goes on trial in Russian Federation probe

Ex-Trump aide Manafort goes on trial in Russian Federation probe

The trial of Paul Manafort, a former campaign manager for President Donald Trump's successful 2016 run for the White House, begins on Tuesday and prosecutors have coached witnesses to focus on the crimes Manafort is charged with and not his relationship with Trump, ABC is reporting.

That appeal, referred to as a "petition" in the quote above, contended that Manafort's prior challenge of special counsel Robert Mueller's authority was wrongly dismissed. Earlier in the day, prosecutors and defence attorneys selected a 12-member jury to weigh Manafort's fate.

Manafort is accused of taking the money he made working for a Russia-backed Ukrainian political party and hiding it in foreign bank accounts to avoid paying taxes, then turning to bank fraud when the party collapsed.

"A man in this courtroom believed the law did not apply to him".

Manafort trial to begin; prosecutors have...

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.

Manafort appeared at the federal courthouse in Alexandria, Va., wearing a black business suit. U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III will try to weed out potential prejudice in what has become a highly publicized and politically divisive investigation. And they won't learn that Manafort's co-defendant in the Washington case is a business associate named Konstantin Kilimnik, who lives in Russia and who USA authorities assert has connections to Russian intelligence. Asonye said the evidence would show he lied to the Internal Revenue Service. Prosecutors will also argue that Manafort fraudulently obtained millions more in bank loans, including during his time on the campaign. According to prosecutors, he spent $6.4 million on real estate and $7.3 million on home renovations.

Mr Manafort has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

The unsuccessful civil lawsuit sought, among other things, to prevent Mueller from bringing additional charges in the future, including potential charges relating to Manafort's work on the Trump campaign.

Among them is former Manafort associate Rick Gates, who in February pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy and lying to investigators.

This is the first of two trials for Manafort.

Mr Manafort, 69, faces 18 criminal counts, which centre on allegations that he hid much of the $60 million he earned in Ukraine in undisclosed overseas bank accounts and failed to pay taxes on it.

In addition to jury selection, Tuesday morning included a hearing regarding a motion to block Ukraine-related documents from being introduced as evidence at the trial. His wife sat behind him in the courtroom.

Just as an acquittal would be bad for Mueller, a Manafort conviction would give Mueller's team juice to keep their investigation going.

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