Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, earned over $60 million working for Russia-backed Ukraine politicians, according to a new court filing made Monday by special counsel Robert Mueller and his team of prosecutors.
“Paul Manafort earned more than $60 million as a political consultant in Ukraine, Robert Mueller says”
— Bloomberg (@business) July 31, 2018
Mueller said government prosecutors will prove that Manafort earned and was paid the massive amount of money but did not report most of it on his tax returns as was required under federal law. The new filing discloses for the first time the amount of Manafort’s consulting income from his work for the Putin-backed president of the Ukraine.
“No ‘pay stubs’ or ‘paychecks’ reflect that income, rather, the invoices and bills submitted by various consultants provide proof on that issue,” federal prosecutors wrote in the filing with the court.
“Accordingly, to prove that Manafort earned that much income, the government must be able to show the extent of the work that he performed for Ukraine.”
Mueller is challenging a request from Manafort’s lawyers that the judge exclude from evidence over 50 of the prosecution’s planned trial exhibits. These pieces of evidence are related to Manafort’s political consulting work in Ukraine from 2005 to 2014.
Mueller’s court filing maintained that the exhibits being challenged, including memoranda, emails and photographs that show the work Manafort performed, are very important for the prosecutors to establish the extent of Manafort’s consulting work.
The new filing from Mueller came just one day before Manafort’s trial on bank and tax fraud charges in Virginia is scheduled to start with jury selection.
Legal observers believe that the new filing shows what Mueller’s trial strategy will be. Once all of the exhibits about Manafort’s Ukraine work are entered into evidence, they can also be used in Manafort’s second criminal trial which is scheduled to begin in Washington in September.
If Mueller and his team can prove the extent of Manafort’s work for politicians connected to Russia, and that he is guilty of fraud and income tax evasion, then convictions in the second trial will be much easier to obtain.
In addition, the evidence to be introduced by Mueller will provide the public a view of not only the amount of money Manafort was paid by corrupt politicians, but also the full extent of Manafort’s massive criminal wrongdoing.
Once this happens, there will be few American voters who will have any sympathy for Paul Manafort. His connections to Trump will hurt the president politically, and probably will hurt all GOP candidates tied to Trump.
Mueller is truly a genius because he will be able to show the extreme culpability of an international crime figure who was part of the Trump campaign. And he won’t even once have to mention the word “collusion” to do it.