The criminal trial of former Donald Trump lawyer Paul Manafort is now underway. At the judge’s urging, jury selection went along rapidly and we have now had some opening remarks. The judge has already had to step in an admonish lawyers on both sides in where they need to limit their claims and statements. The opening remarks by the defense showed where part of the defense of Manafort is going to be handled.
As Written and Reported By Kevin Daley for the Daily Caller:
A jury was seated Tuesday in Paul Manafort’s first criminal trial at the federal courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia.
President Donald Trump’s former campaign chief is standing trial for bank fraud and tax fraud.
The 12-member jury is composed of six men and six women, with four alternative jurors. The jurors were selected from a pool of 60. The jury was seated around 2:00, as Judge T.S. Ellis III urged the parties to set a brisk pace for selection.
Opening arguments began shortly thereafter, just before 3:00. Prosecutors cast Manafort as a reckless operator who accrued a sprawling fortune by breaking the law. Defense attorneys responded that Manafort mistakenly placed his trust in a former aide, Rick Gates, who has since pleaded guilty to making false statements.
Manafort’s lawyers emphasized that their client was doing work in Ukraine while Gates irresponsibly managed their finances.
Ellis interrupted attorneys on both sides at several points, admonishing them to restrict their remarks to facts they will prove with evidence during the trial.
Interesting moment occurred in government opening statement as prosecutor rattled off Manafort’s life of luxury. Judge interrupted: “It isn’t a crime to have a lot of money and be profligate in your spending.”
— Eric Tucker (@etuckerAP) July 31, 2018
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