In opening statements Tuesday, prosecutors detailed Paul Manafort's "extravagant lifestyle," and said it was funded by "secret income" that he earned from his lobbying in Ukraine.
To demonstrate Manafort's lavish spending habits, Uzo Asonye, a prosecutor working on the case with special counsel Robert Mueller's team, pointed to specific details:
- Asonye told jurors that Manafort owned several homes and acquired real estate in New York and Virginia.
- Prosecutors said he bought expensive cars and watches.
- Manafort even got a $15,000 jacket "made from an ostrich," Asonye said.
Manafort is accused of filing false tax returns, failing to report foreign bank accounts, and defrauding several banks. If Manafort is convicted, these serious financial crimes could carry a total sentence of 300 years in prison. He has pleaded not guilty.
In opening statements Tuesday, prosecutors painted former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort as a "shrewd" liar who orchestrated a global scheme to avoid paying taxes on millions of dollars.
Manafort lived an "extravagant lifestyle" fueled by millions of dollars in "secret income" that he earned from his lobbying in Ukraine, said Uzo Asonye, a prosecutor working on the case with special counsel Robert Mueller's team.
A federal judge in Alexandria, Virginia, granted a request for five witnesses to testify with immunity during Manafort's trial.
The five witnesses granted immunity are:
- James Brennan
- Donna Duggan
- Conor O'Brien
- Cindy Laporta
- Dennis Raico
Court filings do not provide details as to what each will be testifying about.
He has a long career in politics: In the 1980s, he founded a lobbying firm with Roger Stone, another Trump adviser under investigation.
Manafort is charged with bank fraud and tax crimes. Prosecutors claim he hid millions of dollars in income from lobbying for Ukrainian politicians, all while failing to pay taxes and spending the money on US real estate and personal luxury purchases.
He has pleaded not guilty.
He's also scheduled to face trial in Washington, DC, on related charges in September.
A jury of six men and six women has been sworn in for the criminal trial of Paul Manafort in Alexandria, Virginia.
Also selected were four alternate jurors of three women and one man.
It took seven rounds of the selection process for attorneys on both sides to reach 12 jurors.
Though the initial jury pool of 65 people from Northern Virginia was largely white, the group that will decide Manafort's guilt was quite diverse, with at least three of the jurors not being white and two not white alternates as well. They range in age.
The court will take a lunch break for almost an hour, and opening statements are expected to begin this afternoon.