Mueller Outlines Evidence to Be Used in Manafort Trial

WASHINGTON (CN) – Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team on Friday outlined some of the evidence it will introduce during ex-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s trial in September.

Prosecutor Andrew Weissmann said in a late afternoon filing that they will introduce evidence about the underlying reasons for a multi-million dollar payment Manafort made to an unidentified law firm from an offshore account, to prepare a report on former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko’s trial.

According to Weissmann, that evidence pertains to the alleged false statements Manafort made in violation of the Foreign Agent Registration Act, as well as the money-laundering charges against him.

This evidence will show that Manafort sought to skirt the limitations of Ukrainian public procurement law, the filing says.

Mueller’s team might also introduce evidence concerning alleged false statements Manafort made to the Internal Revenue Service on his tax returns concerning his New York City apartment, which he said was used for business.

However, he told his tax preparer it was a personal residence for him and his wife. When he sought a loan against the apartment, he billed it as a “tax strategy.”

“Treating a residence as a business expense to count depreciation and obtain other tax benefits is another way in which Manafort schemed to reduce the amount of taxable income reported to the IRS, which is one of the forms of deceiving the Treasury Department alleged in Count One,” the filing says, referring to the superseding indictment against Manafort.

Weissmann said they could also introduce evidence pertaining to a series of loans between entities in Cyprus controlled by Manafort and his right-hand man, Konstantin Kilimnik, that were structured to conceal the funds as income.

Mueller brought a superseding indictment against Manafort and Russian-born Kilimnik on June 8 for obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice for allegedly trying to influence the testimony of two potential witnesses back in February, while he was out on bail.

As a result, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson revoked Manafort’s pretrial release Friday morning, after which he was taken into custody and will be jailed ahead of his first trial in Virginia, which starts July 25.

Manafort faces charges of conspiracy, money laundering, failure to register as a foreign agent, making false statements and obstruction of justice in Washington, D.C. In the Virginia indictment, which Mueller is also prosecuting, Manafort faces charges of bank and tax fraud.

Also on Monday, the federal judge presiding over former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s criminal trial in Washington, D.C. extended a deadline for his attorneys to object to the admissibility of some evidence the government intends to introduce at trial in September.

That evidence relates to reasons for a multi-million dollar payment Manafort made from an offshore account to an undisclosed law firm for a report on former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko’s trial.

Manafort’s objections to the evidence were due on Friday June 29, but U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said in a July 2 minute order that his response was insufficient.

“The Court set a date for when objections would be due, the defendant did not request additional time to respond, and the response he filed — merely reserving the right to object at a later date — does not comply with the scheduling order,” the minute order said.

Jackson is giving Manafort until July 13 to further respond in case there was any confusion about the court’s schedule.

A hearing on the matter is currently scheduled for July 24, the day before his Virginia trial begins for bank and tax fraud charges stemming from his lobbying work on behalf of a pro-Russian party in Ukraine.

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