Key players in US case versus ex-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort

Key players in US case versus ex-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort

But what is expected to be missing from the trial, which begins on Tuesday (US time), will be answers about whether the Trump campaign coordinated with the Kremlin during the 2016 presidential election or any mention of Russian Federation at all.

He is scheduled to go on trial in the U.S. capital in September on separate charges brought by Mueller of conspiracy, money laundering and failing to register as an agent of a foreign government.

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. Manafort and Gates then funneled millions to offshore bank accounts, which they failed to disclose to the USA government, in the Grenadines, Seychelles and Cyprus.

The charges largely predate the five months Mr Manafort worked on the Trump team in 2016, some of them as campaign chairman.

That task comes as the president and his lawyer-spokesman, Rudy Giuliani, have intensified their attempts to undermine the Mueller investigation in the court of public opinion and as the president continues to waffle on whether he'll sit for a private interview with prosecutors.

But the judges presiding over the two cases ruled that they could proceed.

As president, Trump has downplayed Manafort's role in the campaign.

Manafort's team includes Kevin Downing, Thomas Zehnle, Richard Westling and Jay Rohit Nanavati, all former prosecutors with complex tax fraud case experience.

Manafort is facing 16 charges including bank and tax fraud, as well as failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts.

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The heart of the government's case involves nine years of Manafort's lucrative lobbying and consulting for Ukraine and its former leader Victor Yanukovych, work the US government said Manafort should have registered with the Justice Department.

The indictment against Manafort says $75 million flowed through offshore accounts controlled by Manafort and his former business partner Rick Gates.

That appeal, referred to as a "petition" in the quote above, contended that Manafort's prior challenge of special counsel Robert Mueller's authority was wrongly dismissed.

The prospect of Manafort being found guilty on all charges could mean he spends the rest of his life in prison.

Manafort was present during the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting that was set up after a Kremlin-linked lawyer offered up dirt on Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton to members of the Trump campaign. Yanukovych was ousted in 2014, after which prosecutors say Manafort used money from his American real estate "as collateral to obtain loans", securing more than $20 million by lying about his income and debts. Appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1987, Ellis has questioned the scope of Mueller's probe and said Manafort's indictment seemed to be aimed at getting him to provide information on Trump.

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

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.

Manafort, the former chairman of the Donald Trump presidential campaign, was jailed in mid-June on suspicions of witness tampering.

Joshua Dressler, a law professor at Ohio State University, said the evidence against Manafort, 69, appeared strong but that he drew a favourable judge in the 78-year old T.S. Ellis, who is known to be tough on prosecutors.

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