Manafort Lawyers Rest Without Calling Witnesses in Fraud Trial

Prosecutors for the particular counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, rested their case Monday after calling roughly two dozen witnesses and introducing lots of of displays. Mr. Manafort, 69, is accused of evading taxes on roughly $16.5 million in revenue that he earned working for pro-Russia political forces in Ukraine. When that revenue ran out, prosecutors declare, he fraudulently obtained greater than $20 million in financial institution loans so he might keep an extravagant life-style.

Defense attorneys made a particular effort, together with submitting a last-minute temporary, to influence the choose to throw out 4 financial institution fraud costs involving $16 million in loans that Mr. Manafort obtained from a small Chicago financial institution in late 2016 and early 2017. Richard Westling, one in every of Mr. Manafort’s attorneys, argued that the financial institution, Federal Savings Bank, was not defrauded as a result of its chairman, Stephen M. Calk, was decided to do enterprise with Mr. Manafort, regardless of questions on Mr. Manafort’s wherewithal. He additionally argued that financial institution officers had been effectively conscious of Mr. Manafort’s true monetary scenario.

Emails cited by the prosecution confirmed that Mr. Manafort was buying and selling closely on his connection to the Trump marketing campaign in looking for these loans, one in every of which he used to stop one other creditor from foreclosing on one in every of his properties. In August 2016, earlier than he was pressured out of his place as marketing campaign chairman, Mr. Manafort organized so as to add Mr. Calk to Mr. Trump’s financial advisory committee. In November, simply days after the election, Mr. Calk despatched Mr. Manafort a protracted record of high administration jobs for which he wished to be thought-about.

Mr. Manafort then emailed Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, recommending Mr. Calk as somebody who would “be totally reliable” and would “advance D.T. agenda,” referring to the president-elect. Mr. Calk’s “preference is secretary of the Army,” he wrote. In the subsequent two months, Mr. Calk overruled his underlings and granted Mr. Manafort more cash than every other of the financial institution’s debtors had obtained, financial institution officers testified.

Mr. Westling argued that the financial institution was not victimized as a result of it might have permitted Mr. Manafort’s loans “regardless of the information” he had submitted. But the choose dominated that was a query for the jury to resolve, not him.

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