Paul Manafort trial: What are the implications for Trump?
let’s go to Tom hamburger he’s an investigative political reporter with the Washington Post and joins us now from their news thanks your time today we did hear an opening statement from one of metaphor its attorneys this morning he’s claiming that these charges tax evasion and bank fraud really are the responsibilities of others not a fall that he was taken advantage of by age accountants and others who were not paying close enough attention and if there’s mistakes were made they were not his his lawyer open by say asking for me to afford to stand and said he’s proud to represent him and side Paul’s a long history and it isn’t impressive history of working in US Politics as a as a political consultant this investigation they did indeed in the opening statement from the prosecution described Paul manafort as a person who was knowingly living lavish lifestyle at the expense innocence us taxpayers the charges in this case are that metaphoric laundered money brought in funds to the United States 15 million to be exact that I’m which he did not pay taxes and he deliberately sought to evade taxes in part to support this lavish life style it was a fun detail introduced weed not heard it before that one of the suits that Matt afford to purchase during this period and and apparently war was a $15,000 suit made of ostrich heard of that before but in any case there was that detail and they were other extensive descriptions of the lifestyle that Palmetto Ford lived on a Mercedes Land Rovers and houses in the Hamptons New York City and Palm Beach Florida this child does not really touch or connect to Donald Trump or say during that campaign. Doesn’t one of the things that we’ve heard at the outside is that Russia may not be in Russian collusion or conspiracy may not be a topic in this trial but it’s very much in the background and and I’m part of this innocence the extraordinary amount of money that Paul manafort received from his clients in the Ukraine 60 million according to prosecutors opening statement today came from a political party supported by oligarchs considered friendly to Vladimir Putin and so one of the things that is really the basis of this case even though Russia is not being mentioned overtly when is that it was Russian money or supporters of Russia that were innocence fueling Paul manafort’s lifestyle through this. to the case against Paul metaphor I mean that he’s not a man who keep separate the courts and politics necessarily but we haven’t heard from the guy. Well we’ve heard a couple of things from the president not a meeting not today but in recent weeks I’m and there is he he’s he said a couple of things that are interesting one is he is not to minimize Palmetto for its role in his campaign he was campaign chair but as you know his term was cut short because of the revelations of by his name showing up on off the books account so it worth millions of dollars in Ukraine second the president is said Paul manafort referred to him as a good man and a guy who’s been unfairly I treated saddled with the appropriate very aggressive prosecution that he has described as a Witch HuntThe Washington Post’s Tom Hamburger says Russian collusion will not be the focus of the Paul Manafort trial but will be very much in the background.
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