Manafort lawyers rest fraud case without calling witnesses

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Paul Manafort getting into court docket again in February (FILE)

Ex-Trump marketing campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s legal professionals have rested their case with out calling any witnesses in his financial institution and tax fraud trial.

A US choose additionally dismissed Mr Manafort’s movement to throw out all 18 expenses filed in opposition to him by Particular Counsel Robert Mueller.

That is the primary prison trial to come back from the Division of Justice-led inquiry into alleged Russian meddling.

Mr Manafort, who has pleaded not responsible, additionally declined to testify.

Prosecutors, who rested their case on Monday, say the 69-year-old dodged taxes on thousands and thousands of he made lobbying for Ukrainian politicians.

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The shock transfer from the defence crew got here on the 11th day of the trial and clears the best way for closing arguments to start on Wednesday.

If discovered responsible on the fraud expenses, Mr Manafort may spend the remainder of his life in jail.

Key background

His trial on expenses of cash laundering and unlawful lobbying is because of start in September.

Mr Manafort is accused of laundering greater than $30m (£22m) and failing to reveal his lobbying efforts to the Division of Justice.

On Monday, earlier than resting their case, prosecutors revealed new emails exhibiting Mr Manafort’s monetary dealings.

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Media captionManafort’s indictment: The place did all the cash go?

Prosecutors identified emails purporting to point out Federal Financial savings Financial institution Chairman Steve Calk’s makes an attempt to safe a job within the Trump administration by means of Mr Manafort.

Mr Calk had earlier permitted $1m mortgage for Mr Manafort, and had urged the financial institution to mortgage Mr Manafort thousands and thousands regardless of considerations over whether or not he may pay again the cash.

The Washington Submit reported quite a few emails between the 2 males the place Mr Calk sought “recommendation” on his petition to change into US Secretary of the Military.

Amongst these emails is one to President Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, the place Mr Manafort advisable Mr Calk for the Secretary function.

In line with CNN, Mr Kushner reportedly responded: “On it!”

Mr Calk was by no means nominated for a job within the administration, however served on the Trump marketing campaign’s financial advisory council.

What is the background?

Mr Manafort led US President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential marketing campaign for a number of months in 2016, together with in August when Mr Trump received the Republican social gathering’s nomination.

He was charged in October 2017 as a part of Particular Counsel Mueller’s investigation into alleged Russian meddling within the 2016 presidential election.

However most of his alleged crimes pre-date his time working for Mr Trump and as an alternative centre on his consultancy work for Russian-backed Ukrainian politicians.

The New York Instances reported that the Ukrainian authorities had uncovered ledgers pledging greater than $12m (£9.2m) in money funds for his work as an adviser to Ukraine’s deposed pro-Russian former President, Viktor Yanukovych, when he was in workplace.

It has additionally been alleged that he secretly labored for a Russian billionaire to help President Putin’s political objectives in different components of the previous USSR. Mr Manafort denied the allegation.

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