Manafort Drops Appeal of Civil Case Against Mueller

Manafort Drops Appeal of Civil Case Against Mueller

Manafort Drops Appeal of Civil Case Against Mueller

Prosecutors from special counsel Robert Mueller's office said Monday that Paul Manafort earned $60 million from his work as a political consultant in Ukraine and challenged a motion by the former Trump campaign chairman's attorneys to exclude dozens of exhibits on the topic. Neither Manafort nor Gates paid taxes on that income, instead classifying it as "loans" from offshore foreign entities, according to the government.

Ellis, a 77-year-old Ronald Reagan appointee, expressed skepticism that Mueller's team actually cares about the former Trump campaign chairman's alleged crimes, saying, "I don't see what relation this indictment has with what the special counsel is authorized to investigate".

A pretrial hearing on the issue is slated for 9 a.m. (1300 GMT) on Tuesday, before jury selection begins.

The trial, in Alexandria, Virginia, is expected to last at least three weeks.

"Hearing the voice of so many Americans who felt unrepresented by our government, Paul helped to define Donald Trump's core beliefs and, along with other remarkably talented individuals, they achieved what is believed to be one of the greatest victories in the annals of any presidential campaign", the defense fund site said.

However, prosecutors say - the focus will be on Manfort's links with Ukraine, not on collusion with Russian Federation.

After Yanukovych was deposed in 2014 and their Ukrainian income dwindled, Manafort and Gates allegedly came up with another scheme to obtain money: the two used their real estate properties in the collateral to fraudulently secure more than $20 million in bank loans by "falsely inflating" their income.

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Prosecutors plan to produce almost three dozen witnesses during the trial, including Manafort's former associate Richard Gates, who is cooperating with the government after pleading guilty to lesser charges in February.

Mueller has released a list of 35 potential witnesses he could call to the stand, including Gates, who is now a key co-operating witness in Mueller's investigation. Manafort has pleaded not guilty in both cases. Giuliani said he and Jay Sekulow, another Trump lawyer, had told the president: "This would be a very bad thing to do now".

Jonathan Turley, a professor of law at George Washington University, said the odds are stacked heavily against the former heavyweight political operative. "At 69, that must weigh heavily on his mind". Manafort and Gates then funneled millions to offshore bank accounts, which they failed to disclose to the US government, in the Grenadines, Seychelles and Cyprus.

Rudy Giuliani, a lawyer for Trump, said no one facing trial should expect a pardon, but he did not rule one out. Legal experts say Manafort can be indicted in state court for numerous same crimes for which he's been charged by the special counsel.

A jury that takes a long time to deliberate might be hung up on legal technicalities, "but it might suggest that [they feel] that Mueller is overreaching" by going outside his original mandate, he said.

He's been in jail since last month when the judge presiding over the Washington case revoked his bail for allegedly tampering with potential witnesses.

The filing was made in response to Mr. Manafort's efforts to prevent jurors from seeing more than 50 trial exhibits related to his political consulting work in the Ukraine between 2005 and 2014. Manafort left Trump's campaign soon afterwards. While scrutiny of the Ukraine dealings pushed the one-time campaign chairman out, Gates stayed on, serving as a liaison to the Republican National Committee, while earning the reputation of a competent executor of the Trump team's day-to-day operations. "Didn't know Manafort was the head of the Mob".

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