Manafort guilty of eight charges in financial fraud trial

Paul Manafort, President Trump’s campaign manager, has been found guilty of eight charges in his financial fraud trial. The Robert Mueller-led investigation confirmed that Manafort used foreign accounts to hide millions of dollars and evade taxes that way. He also lied to banks about his income to obtain 20$ million in loans.

Specifically, Manafort has been convicted of five counts of tax fraud, two counts of bank fraud and one count of failure to disclose information about a foreign bank account. There have been ten other counts investigated in the trial, but none of them was confirmed. Manafort’s legal team has stated that they are getting ready to appeal the jury’s verdict.

Although the investigation is not directly related to the President Trump criminal investigation, it still was a showcase of how the special counsel would approach prosecuting a case of this magnitude and in this context. It will likely also serve as a counter-attack to Trump’s non-stopping claims of his investigation being “rigged” against him.

Directly after the trial, Trump expressed pity for Paul Manafort, repeatedly naming the administrations that he had worked for. He mainly attempted to stress that Manafort’s trial wasn’t about Russian collusion or interference in the 2016 elections.

This case’s outcome was reported almost in parallel with Michael Cohen’s statements in court, as he pleaded guilty to having committed crimes and breaking campaign funding laws. Even more shocking was Cohen’s straightforward confession that President Trump directly instructed him to make the investigated payments, and that they were directly targeted to influence the outcome of the 2016 elections. The president had a much different approach when it came to responding to his declarations, as he didn’t tweet or say anything about it. These two consecutive hits to the president’s months-long arguments will probably cause for a change in his approach to public statements, at least during these days.

Featured image via Wikipedia

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