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

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

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

Security personnel from the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Protective Service, watch the vicinity around the Alexandria Federal Court in Alexandria, Virginia, on day one of Paul Manafort's trial.

Mr. Gates, who oversaw some of the financial dealings of Mr. Manafort's consulting business, was expected to be a key witness for the government. But the charges are unrelated to Manafort's involvement in Trump's presidential campaign.

He asked Manafort to stand up and face the jury, calling him "a good man" and a talented political consultant.

He provided no evidence that the team led by Mueller, a Republican appointed by Republicans, is biased against him.

Paul Manafort made more than $60 million consulting for a Russia-backed political party in Ukraine, according to prosecutors investigating Russian interference in the 2016 USA presidential election.

As with earlier witnesses, the subject of Manafort's spending irritated the judge, who told prosecutors: "You have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he signed tax documents to show he knowingly didn't represent his true income".

"All of these charges boil down to one simple issue: that Paul Manafort lied", Asonye said.

Manafort was indicted along with Gates in Mueller's wide-ranging investigation, but he is the only American charged to opt for a trial instead of cooperating with the government. An acquittal would support efforts by Trump and his allies to portray the investigation as a "witch hunt".

The defense will present evidence to show that Manafort reported $30 million in adjusted gross income between 2005 and 2015 and that his company reported an income of more than $92 million during the period, Zehnle said.

The proceedings, which could last weeks, clearly caught the attention of President Donald Trump, who defended his 2016 hiring of Manafort and suggested Manafort was being treated worse than mobster Al Capone.

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Trump has vacillated between showing sympathy for Manafort and trying to distance himself.

He attended the Trump Tower meeting during which a Russian lawyer promised dirt on Hillary Clinton, but Russia's interference in the 2016 election is not expected to be brought up in this trial.

A total of 16 jurors, 12 regular and four alternates, will be chosen after being screened for potential bias.

Maximillian Katzman entered the Alexandria courtroom in a well-tailored navy suit, with a navy striped tie and a white pocket square.

One witness, Maximillian Katzman, said Manafort was one of the best customers at the luxury menswear boutique where he used to work in Midtown Manahattan.

None of the 18 counts against Manafort deal with collusion or conspiracy with a foreign nation, and the word Russian Federation has not been mentioned through the trial's first two days. He is seeking to keep jurors from hearing details of his years of work in Ukraine for the Party of Regions and President Viktor Yanukovych, saying it is irrelevant and prejudicial.

But Mr Manafort quickly faced allegations that he had not disclosed millions of dollars he received for consultancy work he carried out in Ukraine for its then pro-Russian president. While the main areas of Mueller's investigation are Russia's actions during the 2016 presidential election and any attempts by Trump to obstruct justice, none of those topics are expected to come up in Manafort's trial.

It's not a crime to be wealthy, said U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III.

"Paul Manafort worked for Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and many other highly prominent and respected political leaders", Trump noted. He was actively involved in the jury selection, conferring with his attorneys and passing notes. As he was leaving the courtroom at the end of day, he blew a kiss and mouthed "I love you" to his wife, Kathleen, who was seated in the first row. He faces a second trial in September on conspiracy charges.

Mr Manafort has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

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