Kirsters Baish| The trial of former campaign adviser to President Donald Trump, Paul Manafort, started in Alexandria, Virginia Tuesday morning. Manafort was alleged to have committed bank fraud and tax evasion. Both Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s prosecutors and Manafort’s lawyers came out strong in their opening statements.
Manafort’s attorney started off by telling Paula Reid, a reporter for CBS, on Monday morning, “No deal. Manafort attorney Kevin Downing tells me “No chance!” his client will cooperate with Special Counsel in order to avoid trial today.”
JUST IN: No deal. Manafort attorney Kevin Downing tells me “No chance!” his client will cooperate with Special Counsel in order to avoid trial today. @CBSNews
— Paula Reid (@PaulaReidCBS) July 31, 2018
The prosecutors accused the former Trump adviser of being a “shrewd” liar in their opening statement, continuing on to claim that Manafort made millions off of his consultation work in the Ukraine. They went on to hang him out to dry by asserting that Manafort then hid the money in bank accounts in foreign nations.
Prosecutors accused former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort of being a “shrewd” liar who orchestrated a global scheme to avoid paying taxes on millions of dollars, in opening statements that kicked off Manafort’s trial on Tuesday.
Defense came back strong, however. They placed blame on Manafort’s associate, Rick Gates. Gates had entered a guilty plea and gave into Mueller and his team, agreeing to cooperate.
Manafort attorney Zehnle aimed right at Rick Gates, calling him “the prosecution’s star witness.”
Zehnle stated, “This is the way that they required it to be done.” He went on to explain that oligarchs paid the former Trump campaign adviser via secret bank accounts. On Tuesday, the prosecution revealed that they had uncovered 30 hidden foreign bank accounts.
Now Mueller’s lawyers are trying to poke at Manafort for having money.
The Gateway Pundit writes, “At one point Judge Ellis scolded Mueller’s prosecutor, Asonye, who told jurors that Manafort owned several homes, acquired real estate in New York and Virginia, bought expensive cars and watches, and even got a $15,000 jacket ‘made from an ostrich.'”
Interesting moment occurred in government opening statement as prosecutor rattled off Manafort’s life of luxury. Judge interrupted: “It isn’t a crime to have a lot of money and be profligate in your spending.”
— Eric Tucker (@etuckerAP) July 31, 2018
On Tuesday, 12 jurors were chosen, 6 male and 6 female. 8 of the jurors are white.
This story is still developing. Check back for details.