The trial of Paul Manafort is starting, the first to emerge from an inquiry into Russian meddling in the vote.
Donald Trump’s ex-election campaign chief faces 18 criminal counts, including bank fraud, and could face up to 30 years in jail if found guilty.
Paul Manafort, who ran the Trump campaign for three months, has pleaded not guilty.
Prosecutors are expected to say that the former political consultant’s life of luxury did not match what he had declared on his tax returns.
Before joining Donald Trump’s team in summer 2016, Paul Manafort had worked on a number of Republican presidential campaigns, including those of Gerald Ford in the mid-1970s and Ronald Reagan from 1978 to 1980.
As a lobbyist, Paul Manafort developed a reputation for representing the unrepresentable, including former Philippine strongman Ferdinand Marcos, who was accused of torturing, abducting and killing thousands of opponents.
Paul Manafort took over as chairman of the Trump campaign in May 2016 and aimed to present a more thoughtful candidate, who stuck to scripts instead of ad-libbing in campaign rallies. He was in the hot seat when Donald Trump eventually won the Republican nomination, and organized the Republican convention in July 2016.
However, he quickly faced allegations that he had not disclosed millions of dollars he received for consultancy work he carried out in Ukraine for its then pro-Russian president. At the same time, the Republican Party changed the language in its manifesto regarding the conflict in Ukraine, removing anti-Russian sentiment.
Paul Manafort quit Donald Trump’s team in August 2016.