Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

Paul Manafort declines to testify as defense rests

Kushner Agreed To Help Manafort Land Trump Job For Banker, Who Provided Crazy List Of Desired Positions Defense Team Rests in Paul Manafort Case
Charlie Simmons | 15 August, 2018, 19:40

Paul Manafort, President Trump's onetime campaign chairman, is on trial in federal court in Alexandria on bank and tax fraud charges.

During ten days of testimony, some 20 prosecution witnesses described how Manafort allegedly avoided paying tax on at least 16 million dollars of income and repeatedly lied to banks as he borrowed millions more.

Key case: Paul Manafort, a one-time Trump campaign chairman, is the first person to go to trial on charges brought by the Robert Mueller special counsel probe. His lawyers say they believe the prosecution hasn't met its burden of proof in the case.

Also Tuesday, Ellis rejected a defence motion that the case should be dismissed on those same grounds.

Prosecutors say Manafort hid money in offshore bank accounts and then used it to pay for over $6 million in NY and Virginia real estate, items such as antique rugs and fancy clothes, including a $15,000 jacket made of ostrich skin.

The case against Manafort does not relate to any allegations of Russian election interference or possible coordination with the Trump campaign, the main thrust of Mueller's investigation. The charges overall carry a maximum of 305 years in prison.

The case was the first to be tried in the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, which is focused on possible illegal collusion between President Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign and Russian Federation.

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US prosecutors on Monday rested their case against Manafort after 10 days of testimony.

Ellis, who has not shied from making colorful comments during the trial, signaled that he will tell the jury to disregard any comments he made during witness testimony that might have shown his opinion.

Manafort's legal team rested its case on Tuesday, setting the stage for closing arguments before the judge hands the case to jurors for a verdict.

Prosecutors, who have been frustrated by Ellis' tendency to interrupt and chide prosecutors in front of the jury, sought stronger language to make clear that jurors do not need to adopt any opinions expressed by the judge.

Defense rests case without calling any witnesses; Catherine Herridge reports on the court proceedings.

"He is not above the law", Andres said.

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