What we learned from Paul Manafort trial opening statements



Paul Manafort trial week 1: Everything you need to know

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Day 2: Prosecutors present evidence of Manafort's luxurious lifestyle, but the strategy doesn't go over well with the judge

A ,000 ostrich skin jacket allegedly purchased by Manafort.

On Wednesday, the prosecution focused squarely on Manafort's spending on things like expensive home renovations, custom suits and jackets, luxury watches, high-end cars, and upscale residences.

"Prosecutors love to throw in all the over-the-top spending fraudsters usually go for, and Manafort is no exception," said Jeffrey Cramer, a longtime former federal prosecutor who spent 12 years at the DOJ. "First of all, it's relevant because you're following the money. Second, it has a lot of jury appeal."

But US District Judge T.S. Ellis III, who is overseeing the Manafort case, wasn't having it.

"Enough is enough," he said at one point, when the jury was not in the room. He made the remark when prosecutors sought to show documents about the features in one of Manafort's pricey homes.

"We don't convict people because they have a lot of money to throw around," Ellis said.

The jury also heard testimony on Wednesday from Daniel Rabin, a Democratic advertising consultant who said he worked with Manafort in Ukraine to produce dozens of television ads.

After Rabin, the jury heard from FBI special agent Matthew Mikuska. Mikuska was one of the agents involved in the FBI's search of Manafort's home in Alexandria, Virginia and he described the unit as a "luxury" condo.

Asonye also described several financial statements the FBI seized which included information about foreign bank accounts that prosecutors allege Manafort failed to disclose. Asonye also highlighted bills for pricey home renovations for properties Manafort owned in Florida and New York.

Later, Ellis appeared to grow frustrated when Asonye asked Mikuska to describe seized documents that referred to Gates. Ellis asked why the line of questioning was necessary, given that Gates was expected to testify.

Asonye surprised observers when he replied that Gates may not testify, but he later clarified his statement and said the government was evaluating all of its witnesses.






Video: Paul Manafort Trial, Day 1: Opening Arguments... And An Ostrich Jacket | The 11th Hour | MSNBC

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Date: 12.12.2018, 05:39 / Views: 31251