Comment by Jim Campbell
August 1st, 2018
Last time I looked living a lifestyle of luxury wasn’t a crime.
Yep, just checked again and it isn’t.
If progressives had it their way it would be excepted for those anointed as our “Minders.”
Why not require him to turn in his passport and wear an ankle bracelet as is done in similar high profile cases?
Because Robert Mueller is a lying dirt bag that in the end we can only hope will be disbarred and prosecuted.
Not if there is any justice in this court room.
It requires no advanced degrees in rocket science to know that the prosecution is playing to black and poor whites who for the most part would buy such a completely bull shit argument.
The Washington Times
August 1st, 2018
Federal prosecutors on Tuesday described former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort as a man who lied in an effort to fund a lavish lifestyle replete with luxury cars and multiple houses.
In his opening statement in Manafort’s trial, Uzo Asonye, a prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, told the 12-member jury that Manafort was someone who “believed the law did not apply to him, not the tax laws, not the banking laws.”
“All of the charges boil down” to one issue, Asonye said, “that Paul Manafort lied.”
Manafort lied, he continued, about his debt, his income, his net worth, and where he was living in an effort to continue funding a life of luxury.
Manafort “placed himself and his money over the law,” Asonye said.
Manafort is charged with 18 counts of bank and tax fraud, and his trial, which began Tuesday, is the first related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
Federal prosecutors allege Manafort concealed $30 million he earned while consulting for Ukrainian politicians and political parties. When the income from his Ukraine work dwindled, they say, Manafort misled banks to secure millions of dollars in loans.
Please see the entire article below.
In his opening statement, Asonye detailed the government’s allegations against Manafort, telling the jury that the evidence they present through the course of the trial will show how Manafort used foreign bank accounts and shell companies to conceal the millions he made.
The evidence will also prove to the jury that Manafort and his associates “all understood they were breaking the law,” Asonye said.
Asonye told the jury that Manafort “got whatever he wanted” and spent millions of dollars renovating several properties he owned, purchasing real estate, buying high-end cars, and nice clothes.
Prosecutors specifically mentioned a $21,000 watch and $15,000 coat made from an ostrich.
But, he continued, Manafort did not do the one thing many Americans do each year: “pay the taxes he owed.”
Asonye said at the conclusion of the trial, which is expected to last up to three weeks, federal prosecutors will ask the jury to find Manafort guilty and that he is “not above the law and that the rules apply equally to him.”
Jurors can expect to hear from 35 witnesses through the duration of the trial, including Rick Gates, Manafort’s right-hand man who pleaded guilty to counts of bank and tax fraud last year.
Asonye said Gates’ testimony and accompanying documents will prove that Manafort lied to his associates primarily because of money.
But while Gates was painted in the government’s opening statement as a witness who would outline how Manafort broke the law, Manafort’s lawyers warned the jury that Gates was not someone who was worthy of their trust.
Thomas Zehnle, Manafort’s lawyer, framed the case as one about “taxes and trust,” and informed the jury that Gates had already pleaded guilty.
“This is the person … the government wants you to trust,” Zehnle said.
Zehnle said the crux of prosecutors’ case rests on its “star witness,” Gates, who “violated one of life’s most basic rules: When you’re in the hole, stop digging.”
Manafort’s “trust in Rick Gates was misplaced,” he said.
Zehnle told the jury that Manafort trusted those around him to make sure reporting was done correctly and said his client opened foreign bank accounts because that was what his foreign clients instructed him to do.
He painted Manafort as a “talented political consultant” and “good man” who was the “driving force” behind several U.S. presidents.
Manafort couldn’t have imagined, Zehnle said, that his political consulting in Ukraine would have landed him in a courtroom in Northern Virginia.
Zehnle informed the jury that the FBI interviewed Manafort in 2014 related to the misuse of Ukrainian money, an interview Manafort voluntarily agreed to, and told the government then he received $27 million for his services.
Part of that interview involved an explanation for why he had set up offshore accounts, Zehnle said.
Manafort’s trial started Tuesday morning with jury selection, with a panel of 12 jurors — six men and six women — and four alternates ultimately selected.
The trial is expected to last up to three weeks.