Defense rests in Paul Manafort fraud trial without calling any witnesses or having ex-Trump campaign chief testify against Robert Mueller’s charges

Tuesday, August 14, 2018
By Paul Martin

Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chair, is on trial for bank and tax fraud at federal court in Alexandria, VA
His defense had the chance to call witnesses or have Manafort, 69, testify himself but declined to do either
Trial is the first brought by Robert Mueller’s special counsel probe and sees Manafort charged with 18 counts of fraud
Defense will attack his case in their summing up in bid to convince the jury there is reasonable doubt that his team have made their case against Manafort
Defense lost bid to have charges thrown out as Judge T.S. Ellis III said all would go to the jury

By BEN ASHFORD
DAILYMAIL.COM
14 August 2018

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort addressed his fraud trial for the first time today as his defense team rested their case without calling on a single witness.

The 69-year-old was called to the stand to confirm that he didn’t want to take the witness stand at US District Court in Alexandria, Virginia.

His decision means that his defense attorneys will try to convince the jury that Robert Mueller’s special prosecutors have failed to make a case against himbeyond reasonable doubt.

They may try to point to doubts expressed by the judge in the course of the trial, which has been marked by a series of clashes between him and the prosecution.

And they are likely to attack the motives and reliability of the star witness, Manafort’s turncoat deputy Rick Gates, who was given immunity to testify but who admitted stealing from his old boss and keeping a mistress in a London apartment – and who was accused of at least four more affairs by the defense.

The end of the witness phase of the trial came when wearing a smart black suit, white shirt and dark tie, Manafort slowly approached the microphone before responding to four questions in a clear, unwavering voice.

Judge T.S. Ellis told the veteran lobbyist he had an ‘absolute right’ to give testimony on the 18 bank and tax fraud charges that could put him behind bars for life.

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