The Associated Press reports:
Two questions loom large as Paul Manafort prepares to walk into a federal courtroom Tuesday: Will Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman spend what effectively could be the rest of his life in prison? Or will special counsel Robert Mueller be handed a defeat in his team’s first trial since his appointment more than a year ago?
Those questions will be answered by 12 jurors selected this week as Manafort’s trial on tax evasion and bank fraud charges gets underway at the courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia. The pool of jurors will face questions from both sides and U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III as they try to weed out potential prejudice in what has become a highly publicized and politically divisive investigation.
At the center of all this will be another Trump campaign aide, Rick Gates, who spent years working for Manafort in Ukraine and is also accused of helping him falsify paperwork used to obtain the bank loans. Gates, who cut a plea deal with Mueller earlier this year, is expected to testify against his former mentor. Gates is also expected to play a key role in Manafort’s second trial scheduled for September.
The trial is expected to last two to three weeks.