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Witnesses in Manafort Trial Advised Not to Say 'Trump'

Prosecutors reportedly told them not to bring up the president or his 2016 campaign
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 31, 2018 4:12 PM CDT
This courtroom sketch depicts Paul Manafort, fourth from right, standing with his lawyers in front of US district Judge T.S. Ellis III, center rear, and the selected jury, during the jury selection of...   (Dana Verkouteren via AP)

(Newser) – It's Day 1 of Paul Manafort's trial on bank and tax fraud charges; a jury of six men and six women was sworn in Tuesday and both sides delivered opening statements, CNN reports. During their statement, prosecutors called the former Trump campaign chairman a "shrewd" liar who earned millions in "secret income" from lobbying in Ukraine, coming up with a scheme to avoid paying taxes on that income so he could continue to live an "extravagant lifestyle," CNN reports. (His $15,000 ostrich jacket was specifically mentioned.) Meanwhile, the defense pinned the blame on longtime Manafort deputy Rick Gates, saying Manafort's trust in him was "misplaced." Gates, who was also once an official with the Trump campaign, pleaded guilty to participating in Manafort's alleged financial conspiracy and is expected to testify against him. More covering surrounding the trial:

  • Despite Manafort's ties to now-President Trump and the fact that the charges stem from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, the White House has repeatedly pointed out that the charges do not directly relate to campaign activity. "The judge has very strictly instructed no mention of Paul Manafort's role in the Trump campaign, no mention of Trump, Russia or collusion," Kellyanne Conway said on Fox News Tuesday. "This trial obviously centers on matters that have nothing to do with the campaign."

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