Special Counsel Robert Mueller claims that President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, earned tens of millions of dollars working as a political consultant in Ukraine.
Mueller made the announcement on the eve of the beginning of Manafort's trial for alleged financial crimes that took place years before he joined the Trump campaign in the summer of 2016.
Mueller claims in court filings that Manafort earned more than $60 million working in Ukraine as a political consultant. Bloomberg reports:
Prosecutors intend to prove that Manafort made that much and “failed to report a significant percentage of it on his tax returns,” according to a filing by Mueller on Monday in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia. Jury selection begins Tuesday in Manafort’s bank- and tax-fraud trial. ...
The indictment of Manafort said he made “tens of millions” of dollars in Ukraine from 2006 to 2015, moved money from Cyprus to pay U.S. vendors to fund a lavish lifestyle and avoided paying taxes on income by disguising it as loans from offshore shell companies. It said that $75 million flowed through the accounts and that he laundered $30 million.
Manafort's legal team has asked that the judge presiding over the case prohibit jurors from viewing over 50 pieces of potential evidence documenting his work in Ukraine because they claim that the documents include "irrelevant, prejudicial and unnecessarily time-consuming evidence."
"The documents establish the breadth of the work that Manafort performed, including commissioning television ads, writing speeches and carrying on campaign-related activities," Mueller's filing states. "There is nothing prejudicial about documents setting forth how the ads were made, how consultants were paid and who approved their work."
Bloomberg notes that in Ukraine, Manafort "advised former President Viktor Yanukovych, his Party of Regions and its successor, the Opposition Bloc."
Manafort's upcoming trial is expected to focus solely on his alleged financial crimes that happened years before Trump announced in 2015 that he was running for president.
"I don’t anticipate that a government witness will utter the word 'Russia,'" Prosecutor Greg Andres said.