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Trump campaign chairman's lush lifestyle to be probed in court

Trump campaign chairman's lush lifestyle to be probed in court

Don't expect answers about Trump campaign coordination with the Russians to come out of the trial of US President Donald Trump's onetime campaign chairperson.

Mueller's team said it would not present evidence at the trial in the Washington suburb of Alexandria, Virginia, about possible campaign collusion with Russian Federation, potentially saving it for a second Manafort trial in Washington in September.

It's expected to be rich with tales of lavish spending, secret shell companies and millions of dollars of Ukrainian money flowing through offshore bank accounts and into Manafort's pocket.

The president criticized Mueller by name over the weekend and continues to refer to the special counsel investigation into Russian election interference as a "witch hunt" and "an illegal scam". Of the four former Trump aides ensnared in the probe, Manafort is the only one to go to trial. Prosecutors say they may call as many as 35 witnesses, including five who have immunity agreements.

Manafort is facing 16 charges including bank and tax fraud, as well as failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts.

His trial is expected to be lengthy.

Among the witnesses is Rick Gates, Manafort's deputy and co-defendant, who pleaded guilty this year and agreed to cooperate.

Two Democratic consultants who worked with Manafort in Ukraine, Tad Devine and Daniel Rabin, are set to testify against him.

And there's always the possibility that Manafort could take a plea deal during the trial if his defense falls apart, opting for a lighter sentence in exchange of telling Mueller's team anything he may know about possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

In recent days, prosecutors have submitted a list of hundreds of exhibits they plan to introduce at trial, including financial documents and photographs of luxury cars and real estate properties Manafort bought with his Ukrainian income.

Gates, former national security adviser Michael Flynn and George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy adviser on the campaign, all have pleaded guilty.

Rudy Giuliani, the president's personal lawyer, has indicated that Mr Trump could pardon Mr Manafort should he be found guilty.

According to Mueller's filing, "to prove that Manafort earned that much income, the government must be able to show the extent of the work that he performed for Ukraine", The Hill states.

Nor will they hear about the reason he's been jailed since last month after a judge revoked his house arrest over allegations that he and a longtime associate attempted to tamper with witnesses in the case.