The much-anticipated trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort begins Tuesday, but observers hoping for evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia are likely to be disappointed.
Prosecutors working for special counsel Robert Mueller plan to call nearly three dozen witnesses and introduce 500 pieces of evidence in an effort to show that Manafort engaged in bank fraud and evaded taxes on income he received for work on behalf of a Ukrainian politician.
Among the witnesses are Manafort’s accountants and Rick Gates, a former Manafort business partner and Trump campaign aide who accepted a plea deal with Mueller in February. Tad Devine, the chief strategist for the Bernie Sanders campaign, is also on the witness list. Devine worked with Manafort on behalf of Viktor Yanukovych, the former president of Ukraine.
But the prosecutors, led by Andrew Weissmann, a Justice Department official who attended Hillary Clinton’s ill-fated Election Night party, have no plans to introduce evidence of a conspiracy between the campaign and the Kremlin.