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U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III says oligarch has a "pejorative" meaning and using it isn't relevant to the bank fraud and tax evasion charges against Manafort.

US prosecutors on Tuesday portrayed President Donald Trump's onetime campaign chairman Paul Manafort as someone who hid his wealth from political work in Ukraine, as the first trial began arising from an investigation of Russia's interference in the 2016 USA election.

Paul Manafort, 69, who chaired the Trump campaign during the summer of 2016, was accused of putting "himself and his money above the law" by laundering tens of millions of dollars derived from pro-Moscow groups in Ukraine.

His defense team's opening day strategy was to try and undermine the Mueller team's star witness, Rick Gates, who was Manafort's deputy in business and at the Trump campaign.

Manafort attorney Thomas Zehnle at Tuesday's opening made it clear the defence plans to make attacking Gates a central element of their defence.

Lawyers for Manafort countered by painting Manafort as a victim of his employees, including former colleague Rick Gates, who is cooperating with Mueller's probe.

Gates is also expected to play a key role in Manafort's second trial, scheduled for September.

Lawyers in the case of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort offered opening arguments on Tuesday in the first major trial brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and both sides told jurors there was a liar at the heart of the case.

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Earlier in the day, prosecutors and defense attorneys selected a 12-member jury to weigh Manafort's fate.

Yet the trial also contains pitfalls for Trump.

Robert Mueller, the special counsel leading the probe into links between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation, claims Mr Manafort made $60 million from Ukrainian political figures. Trump denies any collusion with Russian Federation, and on Tuesday tried to make the case publicly that collusion would not be a crime anyway. He said he would not tolerate any pictures of Manafort and others "at a cocktail party with scantily clad women", if they exist.

"This case is about trust because it's about Mr. Manafort placing his trust in the wrong person", Zehnle said of.

About 500 pieces of evidence have been submitted by investigators, including luxury watches and pictures of lavish homes, and up to 35 witnesses could be called. "The Special Counsel consents to a one week extension of the deadline to submit a Joint Pretrial Order but objects to the longer extension Mr. Manafort seeks in this motion", they continued.

They said he did not wilfully mislead or deceive the Internal Revenue Service, and that he was betrayed by Gates, who pleaded guilty to making false statements after being indicted by Mueller. But Butina also appeared to have had a broader mission, The Daily Beast reports, detailing an encounter in which Butina urged legendary US financial executive Maurice "Hank" Greenberg to pour more money into the secretly insolvent Russian bank Investtorgbank, leaving observers "shocked and disturbed" at her audacity. "Paul Manafort worked for Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and many other highly prominent and respected political leaders", Mr. Trump tweeted.

The former Trump campaign head was ordered to jail by a judge on new charges that he was tampering with witnesses.


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