Ex-Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort goes on trial for bank fraud

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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.

Judge T.S. Ellis, of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, said he wasn't going to rule on that motion immediately, and instead asked prosecutors to limit the number of documents they introduce at trial.

Jury selection is set to begin Tuesday morning. While many in the courtroom laughed, including Manafort's lawyers, the defendant himself did not.

None of the charges have any explicit connection to Russia's efforts to influence the 2016 election, and Manafort's lawyers had previously sought to dismiss the indictments against him.

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 USA tax officials and allegedly laundered more than $18 million in proceeds.

It's the first trial to result from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into potential ties between the Trump presidential campaign and Russian Federation. Manafort is accused of concealing tens of millions of dollars in income from the IRS and fraudulently obtaining millions more in bank loans.

The results of the questionnaires were placed under seal, with copies being given to both sides for use in the jury selection process this week. Manafort's wife, Kathleen, was sitting behind him in the courtroom.

Mueller was appointed by the U.S. Justice Department's No. 2 official previous year to take over an FBI investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 presidential election and whether there was unlawful co-ordination between Trump's campaign and Moscow.

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. But in that same exchange, Trump came to Manafort's defense and lashed out at Mueller's investigation. Manafort worked on Trump's presidential campaign for five months and attended a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russians that is a focal point of Mueller's probe into possible collusion between the campaign and the Kremlin. Trump denies any collusion with Russian Federation, and on Tuesday tried to make the case publicly that collusion would not be a crime anyway.

As for Mueller's bank fraud allegations, Zehnle said that Manafort was "open" with the outside professionals who helped to facilitate loans, about why he was seeking the money and what he planned to spend it on.

"On top of that", he added, "the government will bring forth the coup de grace" with incriminating testimony by Gates, Manafort's former business partner.

The exhibits show that Manafort did not just work on multiple Ukrainian elections but did political consulting and lobbying work for Yanukovych outside specific campaigns. That trial, set in the District of Columbia, involves allegations that the longtime political consultant acted as an unregistered foreign agent for Ukrainian interests and made false statements to the US government.

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