admin Posted August 21, 2018 Share Posted August 21, 2018 A federal jury in Virginia convicted Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, on eight counts on Tuesday, but a mistrial was declared on the 10 other charges he faced. Manafort was convicted on five counts of tax fraud, one count of failing to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts and two counts of bank fraud. A mistrial was declared in three counts of failing to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts, and seven counts of bank fraud and bank fraud conspiracy. The trial was the first public test of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, and while the special counsel was vindicated, the victory wasn't total. The jury deliberated for four days after hearing 12 days of arguments, evidence and witnesses. Mueller’s team buried the defendant in an avalanche of emails, tax returns, bank documents and the damning testimony of bankers, accountants, and Manafort's onetime protégé, Rick Gates. The defense sought to raise doubts Gates' credibility and about other aspects of the evidence, and was partially successful. Manafort, 69, also faces another trial on related charges next month in Washington. He came to the Trump campaign with deep ties to Russian figures, and was the only non-Trump-family member from the campaign team to participate in the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with a Russian lawyer, which was set up on the promise of obtaining incriminating information about Hillary Clinton. Manafort also played a role in an effort to soften a plank in the Republican Party platform calling for lethal aid to Ukrainians fighting the Russian invasion of their country. The charges at issue in the trial, which began July 31 in Alexandria, Virginia, weren't directly related to Russian interference in the 2016 election, but painted a startling picture of a senior campaign figure who appears to have had the motive, means and opportunity to help the Russians. By the time he went to work for the Trump campaign for free in the summer of 2016, Manafort had no income and was in a precarious financial position, prosecutors showed. He was so desperate for cash that he felt compelled to defraud banks, lying about his income and debts, prosecutors said, offering pages of documents and a parade of witnesses who testified to inconsistencies with his loan paperwork. "Mr. Manafort lied when he had money and lied to get more money when he didn't," prosecutor Greg Andres told the jury in his closing argument. "This is a case about lies." Recommended For Manafort, a graduate of Georgetown Law School and an adviser to five Republican presidential campaigns, it's been a stunning collapse — first financial, and now, a life-altering criminal conviction. He was paid some $60 million over 10 years by a Russian-backed political party in Ukraine, the prosecution showed, and evaded taxes on about half that income by parking it in overseas accounts and disguising it as loans. 2 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Join the conversation
You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.