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Trump Compares Treatment of ‘Alfonse Capone, Legendary Mob Boss’ to Paul Manafort

01 August 2018

Gates pleaded guilty earlier this year and agreed to cooperate with investigators.

Judge T.S. Ellis III offered some humorous encouragement to the jurors chosen for the trial, which is expected to last about three weeks. Mr Manafort denies all charges, and at one point had sought to get them dismissed.

The exchange occurred during the testimony of Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Mathew Mikuska, who raided Mr. Manafort's Alexandria, Virginia condo a year ago.

On Monday, prosecutors said in court filings that they meant to prove Manafort earned more than $60 million lobbying for the former pro-Russia Ukrainian government and failed to report "a significant percentage" of that.

The luxurious lifestyle was funded by Manafort's political consulting for the pro-Russian Ukrainian political party of Viktor Yanukovych, who was deposed as Ukraine's president in 2014.

Asonye told jurors the evidence would show Manafort hid "tens of millions of overseas income" to avoid paying taxes.

He faces twelve different counts, all felonies, which include conspiracy against the United States, failing to register as a foreign agent, making false statements about being a foreign agent, false statements to the Department of Justice, tax fraud, bank fraud, money laundering and more. "Not tax, not banking law". Some documents are necessary to show Manafort's connections with those consultants, prosecutors say.

Two Democratic consultants who worked with Manafort in Ukraine, Tad Devine and Daniel Rabin, are set to testify against him. Capone, dubbed "Public Enemy Number One", was convicted of tax evasion. "It's a lot, and Paul Manafort trusted that Rick Gates was keeping track of it", Zehnle said.

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Ellis rejected that argument despite having initially questioned the special counsel's motives for bringing the case. While many in the courtroom laughed, including Manafort's lawyers, the defendant himself did not.

But Gates kept his name on them "so he could keep control", he said. He is expected to be the government's star witness. But Manafort's lawyers appear intent on turning the tables on Gates and make him the main culprit in the affair.

Zehnle placed the blame for Manafort's current troubles on Gates' shoulders.

The charges stem from Manafort's activities from 2006-2017. A jury of six men and six women was ultimately selected, along with four alternate jurors.

Prosecutors and defense lawyers objected to almost two dozen other candidates in the juror pool for unknown reasons.

Manafort's bail was revoked in June while he was on house arrest, after prosecutors accused him of tampering with witnesses.

Asonye, who described Manafort's "lavish lifestyle" in detail, alleged that Manafort held more than 30 bank accounts that "served no business objective other than to receive and hide income".

Paul Manafort, left, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, walks with this wife Kathleen Manafort, as they arrive at the Alexandria Federal Courthouse in March. Since then, Gates has cooperated with the special counsel and met with Mueller's attorneys on multiple occasions, sources have told ABC News.