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An FBI agent, Matthew Mikuska, testified that he and about 14 other FBI employees searched Mr. Manafort's 4th-floor condominium one day in the summer of 2017 at 6:30 a.m. after knocking several times.

With the jury out of the room, the judge complained about prosecutors' efforts to show that Manafort's life was luxurious and blocked them from showing one document on home renovations.

During the first day, US prosecutors depicted Manafort as a tax evader who hid millions of dollars he earned from his political work for former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, in the first trial arising from the investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 USA presidential election.

Judge T.S. Ellis will preside in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

He cautioned them that the term could imply that Manafort was associating with "despicable people and therefore he's despicable".

"Why didn't government tell me that he was under investigation", Trump tweeted Wednesday. These charges have nothing to do with Russian collusion.

"The defense side is pointing to Gates.as they should", the former DOJ prosecutor said.

Things like a $21,000 Limited Edition black titanium Royal Way watch with crystal, a Mercedes Benz for his wife, and a $15,000 jacket made of ostrich.

Testimony in the second day of Manafort's trial, the first stemming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's 14-month investigation of Russia's role in the 2016 USA election, was overshadowed by Trump's call for an end to the probe. And it will unfold at a delicate time for the president as Mueller's team presses for an interview and as Trump escalates his attacks on an investigation he calls a "witch hunt". The charges against Manafort largely pre-date his five months of work for the Trump campaign, some of them as campaign chairman. Mueller was not present in the courtroom.

Just one day after attorneys representing former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort revealed their defense strategy is to peg Manafort's former associate, Rick Gates, as the true culprit behind their client's alleged crimes, special counsel Robert Mueller's team countered by revealing they might not even call Gates to the stand.

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Alphonse Capone, who spelled his name with a ph, not an F, and was best known as "Al" Capone, likely suffered a wee bit more than Manafort himself.

When Capone stood trial in 1931, prosecutors needed a way to show that the mobster - not the kind to leave a paper trial when it came to income - was making a lot of money. "That's what Rick Gates was being paid to do". The trial was expected to last three weeks.

After opening statements, the jury heard from the government's first witness, Democratic strategist Tad Devine, who testified about his collaborations with Manafort on behalf of Ukrainian presidential candidate Viktor Yanukovych and his Party of Regions.

Manafort's consulting work for pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine that earned him $60 million also took the spotlight in testimony in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, outside Washington.

Diverting attention from Manafort by questioning Gates' involvement in the pair's finances is a smart tactic, one former federal prosecutor with experience in similar tax fraud cases said.

But Zehnle said there was no evidence that Manafort ever meant to deceive the IRS.

"Rick Gates had his hand in the cookie jar", Zehnle said, claiming that Gates was not truthful with the accountants who prepared Manafort's tax returns and kept his name on offshore accounts to hide an embezzlement scheme.

Defense lawyers also sought to address head-on Manafort's wealth and the images of a gaudy lifestyle that jurors are expected to see during the trial.

"Paul Manafort travels in circles that most people will never know and he's gotten handsomely rewarded for it", Zehnle said.


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