Saturday, 18 August, 2018

Paul Manafort, ex-Trump campaign chief, to begin trial

Another Narrative Busted: The Focus of Manafort's Upcoming Trial Will Make Liberals Very Sad Paul Manafort Trial Begins – Here's What the Embattled Ex-Trump Aide Will Face in Court
Andrew Cummings | 02 August, 2018, 06:37

Gates has agreed to cooperate with the Mueller probe.

"Rick Gates had his hands in the cookie jar and he didn't want his boss to find out", defense lawyer Thomas Zehnle told the court during his opening statement on Tuesday, accusing Gates of being "willing to say anything to save himself".

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

Daniel Rabin: He's a Democratic political consultant, and partner at Rabin Strasberg Media.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Uzo Asonye said Manafort made tens of millions of dollars as a political consultant in Ukraine, but used offshore shell companies and foreign bank accounts to avoid paying U.S. taxes on much of the money.

Another man brought a John Grisham novel into the courtroom.

Day 2 of the tax evasion and bank fraud trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manifort is in the books.

The special counsel has enlisted as many as 35 witnesses to testify against Manafort.

Manafort was indicted by a grand jury as a part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe into alleged Russian meddling in US affairs. Three Russian companies have also been charged.

Trump has insisted that he did not collude with Russian Federation and has many times called the probe a "witch hunt".

President Trump denies any collusion with Russian Federation, and today tried to make the case publicly that collusion would not be a crime anyway. But Gates kept his name on them "so he could keep control", he said.

While the main areas of Mueller's investigation are Russia's actions during the 2016 presidential election and any attempts by Trump to obstruct justice, none of those topics are expected to come up in Manafort's trial.

N Korea 'making missiles' despite United States thaw
North Korea got respect, trade, and weapons, and now they appear to be going on as if Singapore put no restrictions on them. Experts say the North likely wants a declaration of the end of the Korean War as part of US security assurances.

President claims ID is needed to buy groceries
President Trump boards Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland for a trip to Tampa to attend a rally on July 31. DeSantis is endorsed by Trump and makes no secret of his affection for the president.

California wildfire: Fire vortex photos
Temperatures were forecast to reach 42.8degC on Saturday, with winds of up to 13kmh, according to the National Weather Service . Firefighters douse a hotspot near various homes as the Carr fire continues to burn near Redding, California , on July 28, 2018.

Mr Trump has expressed sympathy for Mr Manafort since the charges were laid, calling him a "nice guy".

Manafort attended a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russians that is a focal point of Mueller's probe.

Six men and six women, along with four alternate jurors, were chosen on Tuesday.

Manafort arrived at the courthouse Tuesday morning wearing a black suit, with his hair neatly parted.

Asonye said Manafort set up more than 30 bank accounts in overseas countries and funneled millions of dollars into them in order to bankroll an extravagant lifestyle.

Dennis Raico and James Brennan worked at Federal Savings Bank, a Chicago lender that extended Manafort $16 million in loans against his NY real estate holdings.

Former federal prosecutor Patrick Cotter, now a federal defense attorney, said in an interview with Mic that Manafort's defense has little chance of success and that the government's vast paper trail detailing Manafort's alleged financial crimes will be hard to overcome.

Under cross-examination, Devine also portrayed Manafort as a skilled political operator, but also a hard worker.

Mueller was appointed by the U.S. Justice Department's No. 2 official previous year to take over an FBI investigation. Gates is the one who should be in the defendant's chair - not Manafort.

Manafort actively conferred with his lawyers during the jury selection process, writing and passing notes. As he was leaving the courtroom at the end of day, he blew a kiss and mouthed "I love you" to his wife, Kathleen, who was seated in the first row. "He worked for me for a very short time".

He is scheduled to go on trial in the U.S. capital in September on separate charges brought by Mueller of conspiracy, money laundering and failing to register as an agent of a foreign government.

While Gates and others, including former national security advisor Michael Flynn, have pleaded guilty, Manafort has refused to strike a deal and has insisted on having his day in court.

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