Paul Manafort Earned $60 Million as a Consultant in Ukraine, Says Mueller

Paul Manafort Earned $60 Million as a Consultant in Ukraine, Says Mueller

Paul Manafort Earned $60 Million as a Consultant in Ukraine, Says Mueller

Manafort was charged with financial frauds and is the first defendant in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election to face trial. "That's what Rick Gates was being paid to do".

More details about Mr Manafort's work in Ukraine and with Russian nationals are expected to emerge in the 69-year-old's trial, which starts on Tuesday.

If Manafort is acquitted, "it will benefit President Trump tremendously, because it will cast into doubt all of the legitimacy of the process that is occurring", said Joshua Dressler, a professor of criminal law and criminal procedure at Ohio State University.

At a recent hearing, U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III, who will preside over the trial, warned prosecutors to restrain themselves, noting the current "antipathy" toward Russia and how "most people in this country don't distinguish between Ukrainians and Russians".

His 30-minute opening statement painted Manafort as a successful but busy global consultant who trusted Gates and other outside professionals to handle the day-to-day operations of his business, including its finances.

Mr Manafort quit Mr Trump's team in August 2016.

They claim that when Mr Manafort's income from consulting and foreign lobbying dried up, he lied to banks to get loans to maintain his lavish spending. There are 35 potential witnesses, many of them bankers and accountants expected to verify documents and speak to Manafort's alleged intent to violate the law.

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Outside the courthouse, a handful of protesters displayed a life-sized puppet of Mr Trump and held signs saying "Trump won't do time for you", "It's Mueller time", and "I like your new suit" alongside a photo of Mr Manafort's mug shot. The 12-person jury comprises six men and six women.

Yesterday, prosecutors said in court filings that they intend to prove that Mr Manafort earned more than $60m (€51m) lobbying for the former pro-Russia Ukrainian government and failed to report "a significant percentage" of that.

Manafort's work for the pro-Russian government in Ukraine plays a central role in the allegations against him, since prosecutors say he concealed income from that work from US tax officials and allegedly laundered more than $18 million in proceeds.

To demonstrate Manafort's lavish spending habits, Asonye told jurors that Manafort owned several homes, acquired real estate in NY and Virginia, bought expensive cars and watches, and even got a $15,000 jacket "made from an ostrich".

"There was No Collusion (except by Crooked Hillary and the Democrats)!"

At jury selection earlier Tuesday, the pool faced questions from both sides and the judge as they tried to weed out potential prejudice in what has become a highly publicized and politically divisive investigation. He faces a second trial in September on conspiracy charges. It involves allegations that he acted as an unregistered foreign agent for Ukrainian interests and made false statements to the US government. Three Russian companies have also been charged. Manafort then asked the federal appeals court in Washington, DC, to review her decision.

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.

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