The trial of Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort has begun in Alexandria, Virginia. He is charged with 18 criminal counts in the first case to be brought to trial by special counsel Robert Mueller.
Paul Manafort, a former chairman of Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, went on trial in a federal court in Alexandria, Virginia on Tuesday.
In the first trial arising from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into campaign collusion with Russia, Manafort has pleaded not guilty to accusations of bank and tax fraud.
What are the charges?
Manafort faces a total of 18 criminal counts, including:
Groundbreaking case: Paul Manafort is the first of Donald Trump's campaign aides to go on trial as a result of the Mueller probe. The special counsel has said that he will not present evidence at the trial about possible campaign collusion with Russia. A conviction for Manafort would give momentum to Mueller, who has already indicted or secured guilty pleas from 32 people. An acquittal, however, would support efforts by Trump and his allies to portray Mueller's investigation as a "witch hunt" and a waste of time.
Key witness: Manafort's former assistant Rick Gates is expected to testify against him. Gates was his right-hand man for years and has knowledge of Manafort's offshore financial dealings.
av/rt (AP, Reuters)