Paul Manafort's bank fraud trial begins in Virginia

Paul Manafort has been charged with money laundering and bank fraud among other violations.					Alexandria Sheriff's Office via Getty Images

Selection of a 12-member jury for "USA vs Manafort" begins at 10:00 am (1400 GMT) on Tuesday before US District Court Judge T.S. Ellis in Alexandria, Virginia.

Manafort, 69, is the first American charged in the inquiry by the special counsel, Robert Mueller, to maintain his innocence, and to force the prosecutors to prove their case at trial.

Gates is also expected to play a key role in Manafort's second trial, scheduled for September. Manafort worked on Trump's presidential campaign for five months and attended a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russians that is a focal point of Mueller's probe into possible collusion between the campaign and the Kremlin.

Prosecutors are expected to say that his life of luxury did not match what he had declared on his tax returns. Manafort has pleaded not guilty to those charges, as well.

One is that he earned more than $60 million in consulting fees in Ukraine between 2010 and 2014 but evaded US taxes on most of the income by setting up secret shell companies for the goal of disguising the money as "loans".

Instead, the trial will centre on Manafort's Ukrainian consulting work and only briefly touch on his involvement with the president's campaign.

Testimony is likely to begin Tuesday afternoon.

The judge in the trial of onetime Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is telling prosecutors not to use the word "oligarch" to describe wealthy Ukrainians who paid millions to Manafort for his work as an worldwide political consultant.

Prosecutors made no reference to Trump in their opening statement nor discussed in any way Manafort's leadership of the Trump campaign, or the ongoing investigation into potential collusion between Russian Federation and the president's associates.

Manafort faces 18 counts.

President Donald Trump and Manafort have both said there was no collusion.

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Richard Gates, former associate of Paul Manafort, leaves the federal courthouse in Washington, D.C., after a hearing on February 23, 2018.

The trial, in Alexandria, Virginia, is expected to last at least three weeks.

The opening day focused heavily on the defendant's lavish lifestyle, as prosecutors said he lied to put his money ahead of the law.

One younger woman said she knew Justice Department attorneys from her work at a Silicon Valley-based tech company.

But once Mueller's Russian Federation investigation ends, Giuliani told Reuters: "He has a right to consider it".

It may not be about Russian Federation, but it will be held in the shadow of the collusion controversy that's long loomed over the White House. Trump has denied any collusion took place.

"It is hereby stipulated and agreed by and between the parties that the (case) be voluntarily dismissed", the new filing said.

Trump himself will also come up at least once in the trial, as prosecutors will argue that a bank chairman allowed Manafort to file false loan information in order to get a job in the Trump administration.

In a shocking admission Wednesday morning, federal prosecutors said Rick Gates may not testify in the trial of his former business partner Paul Manafort. "He could expose himself to further criminal culpability if he has to expose the full extent of those ties".

"Perhaps he believes that he's done nothing wrong, and because he's done nothing wrong, he's unwilling to plead guilty to any crime whatsoever - even if it's a lesser crime", said Jimmy Gurule, a Notre Dame law professor and former federal prosecutor.

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