Monday 20 August 2018

Jury picked for trial of Trump campaign chief

Donald Trump’s former campaign chief Paul Manafort has pleaded not guilty to 18 counts of bank and tax fraud. Photo: Getty
Donald Trump’s former campaign chief Paul Manafort has pleaded not guilty to 18 counts of bank and tax fraud. Photo: Getty

Rachel Weiner

A court will work to seat the 12 Virginians who will decide whether US President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman is guilty of several felonies.

Paul Manafort goes on trial in Alexandria, Virginia, on bank and tax fraud charges brought by the special counsel investigating Russian involvement in the 2016 election.

Potential jurors have answered written questions regarding their knowledge of the case and ability to set that knowledge aside.

Judge TS Ellis III has rejected 37 people because they had competing obligations or indicated they could not be impartial. The judge had sought to strike three more, but prosecutors pushed back, arguing all three had "affirmed they would be able to 'decide the case fairly and impartially based solely on the evidence presented and the court's instructions of law'".

Prosecutors allege Manafort failed to pay taxes on millions he made working for a Russia-backed political party in Ukraine, then lied to get loans when the cash stopped coming in.

Before the jury pool arrives, the judge will decide how much evidence will be allowed at the trial detailing Manafort's work in Ukraine between 2005 and 2014. Such evidence, his attorneys say, will be more properly heard when he goes on trial in the District of Columbia on related charges that include failing to register as a foreign agent. (© Washington Post)

Irish Independent

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