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Paul Manafort Trial Begins – Here's What the Embattled Ex-Trump Aide Will Face in Court

07-30-2018

WASHINGTON – The trial for President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, who was indicted in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe, begins this week in Virginia.

It's expected to be rich with tales of lavish spending, secret shell companies and millions of dollars of Ukrainian money flowing through offshore bank accounts and into Manafort's pocket.

What spectators won't hear much about is his time running Trump's presidential campaign or attempts to prove he colluded with Russian officials to influence the election.

Instead, federal prosecutors will try to prove Manafort laundered more than $30 million in Ukrainian political consulting fees and concealed the money from the IRS.

Manafort faces charges in two different courts and could spend decades in prison if convicted.

He's the only American charged in the Mueller probe to opt for a trial.

It's a risky move and some say, if he's convicted, he's betting on a presidential pardon.

Although the case against Manafort has little to do with his time running the president's campaign, it will give the public its most detailed glimpse of evidence Mueller's team has spent the year accumulating. 

At the same time, Mueller's team continues to press the president's legal team for an interview with the commander in chief.

Manafort has been in jail since last month when a judge revoked his house arrest over allegations that he and an associate tried to tamper with witnesses in the case.

His trial is expected to be lengthy. Prosecutors say they may call as many as 35 witnesses, including five who have immunity agreements.

Jury selection begins Tuesday in a federal court in Alexandria, Virginia.

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