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The latest in the Paul Manafort trial

How we got here

It’s the first trial in the Russia probe, but it has little to do with Russia, so far. Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort faces 18 counts of bank and tax fraud related to his work as a political consultant for a pro-Russia party in Ukraine.

The charges, which don’t cover Manafort’s work with President Donald Trump’s campaign, stem from special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into interference by the Russian government in the 2016 election.


Day Five

 Were you involved in criminal activity?’ ‘Yes.’

What happened

Rick Gates, the prosecution’s star witness, testified that he committed multiple crimes with Manafort, his former boss, including filing false tax returns and failing to disclose foreign bank accounts.

For the Prosecution
Witness What they know
Rick Gates Manafort’s former deputy. Gates told the court he made all of his moves at “Mr. Manafort’s direction.”
Paula Liss Treasury Department senior special agent. Liss said neither Manafort nor his wife, Kathleen, filed reports with the U.S. government acknowledging they had foreign bank accounts.
Cindy Laporta Accountant. In her second day of testimony, Laporta said she had a sense that what Manafort and Gates told her about money being transferred into their international political consulting business wasn’t accurate.

Day Four

 I prepared the tax returns and communicated with banks based on information … that I didn’t believe.

What happened

An accountant for Manafort admitted that she filed tax returns she thought contained false information, the first time during the trial that a witness has acknowledged knowing involvement in potential wrongdoing.

Read more about what happened today.

For the Prosecution
Witness What they know
Cindy Laporta An accountant with Kositzka Wicks & Co. in Alexandria, Virginia; said she had a sense that what Manafort and his aide Rick Gates told her about money being transferred into their international political consulting business wasn’t accurate.
Philip Ayliff One of Manafort’s tax preparers. Ayliff said he and his colleagues often asked Manafort and Gates about possible foreign accounts and other unusual transactions but were never informed about a web of foreign entities prosecutors say Manafort controlled. Ayliff also said Manafort and Gates never contradicted each other.

Day Three

 We have every intention of calling him as a witness.

What happened

After sparking panic yesterday that Rick Gates might not testify for the prosecution, counsel squashed those rumors. He’s expected to appear next week.

Read more about what happened today.

For the Prosecution
Witness What they know
Heather Washkuhn An accountant with the Southern California-based firm NKSFB said she handled Manafort’s books from 2011 to 2018, and was unaware of more than a dozen offshore accounts the former Trump campaign chairman allegedly controlled in Cyprus.
Michael Regolizio Owns New Leaf Landscape Maintenance and testified that Manafort spent about $ 450,000 on landscaping over five years on a 1.5-acre vacation home in the Hamptons.
Philip Ayliff One of Manafort’s tax preparers. His testimony is expected to stretch into Friday. Another accountant from the tax firm, Cindy Laporta, is expected to follow.
Joel Maxwell The chief operating officer of a South Florida audio-visual company that worked with Manafort from 2011 through 2017.

Day Two

 Oligarchy is just despotic power exercised by a privileged few … Principals of high schools are oligarchs …

What happened

It’s only Day Two, but the presiding judge’s patience runs thin. U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III questioned the prosecution’s use of the word “oligarch” to describe Manafort, describing it as un-American and unfairly pejorative.

Read more about what happened today.

For the Prosecution
Witness What they know
Maximillian Katzman The ex-manager (and son of its owner) of a high-end boutique, Alan Couture.
Stephen Jacobsen Long Island-based home improvement contractor
Daniel Osput A comptroller from Mercedes Benz in Alexandria
Matthew Mikuska An 11-year FBI veteran and special agent who participated in the search of Manafort’s estate.
Daniel Rabin Admaker who described his work with Manafort producing TV spots for Ukrainian political campaigns

Day One

 A $ 15,000 jacket ‘made from an ostrich.’

What happened

Today marked the beginning of the highly anticipated Manafort trial. Jury selections were finalized and both the prosecution and defense made their opening arguments. Central to the prosecution’s case is Paul Manafort’s lavish lifestyle. What’s in dispute is how he paid for it.

Read more about what happened today.

Prosecution

Manafort violated the law to fund his lavish lifestyle

The prosecution alleges Manafort committed tax evasion to fund his “extravagant lifestyle” by hiding at least $ 15 million in income earned from consulting work in Ukraine.

Defense

Nope, it’s Rick Gates’ fault

The defense is trying to pin Manafort’s alleged tax evasion on Rick Gates, Manafort’s longtime ex-deputy, who cut a plea deal with the prosecution.

For the Prosecution
Witness What they know
Tad Devine Democratic consultant who crossed the aisle to work with Manafort over a key five-year period in Ukraine, culminating with Yanukovych’s 2010 election. Also served as a key figure on Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign, but this wasn’t mentioned.

Source: Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories

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