What you need to know about the Paul Manafort trial

Paul Manafort spent $18,000 on karaoke equipment court documents reveal

While the main areas of Mueller's investigation are Russia's actions during the 2016 presidential election and any attempts by Trump to obstruct justice, none of those topics are expected to come up in Manafort's trial.

He is scheduled to go on trial in the USA capital in September on separate charges brought by Mueller of conspiracy, money laundering and failing to register as an agent of a foreign government.

The indictment was brought by special counsel Robert Mueller, the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director who is looking into Russian meddling in the presidential election, but the charges are not connected to Manafort's time as Trump's campaign chairman.

Manafort's defense team has argued any mention of Trump could be seized on by jurors who have an unfavorable view of the president.

The trial, starting with selection of a 12-member jury, coincides with growing speculation that Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen may cooperate with federal investigators against the president.

On Monday, prosecutors said in court filings that they meant to prove Manafort earned more than $60 million lobbying for the former pro-Russia Ukrainian government and failed to report "a significant percentage" of that.

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Gates pleaded guilty in February to charges of conspiring against the US and of making false statements to the federal government.

Manafort remained defiant, vowing to fight the charges.

Instead, the trial will center on Manafort's Ukrainian consulting work and only briefly touch on his involvement with the president's campaign.

"As a close business associate of Manafort, Gates can serve as a sort of narrator to help the jury understand the significance of these documents", Barbara McQuade, a former USA attorney said in an email to TPM, pointing to the number of email exchanges including Gates that are referenced in Mueller's exhibit list.

Just as an acquittal would be bad for Mueller, a Manafort conviction would give Mueller's team juice to keep their investigation going.

Lawyers working for special counsel Robert Mueller plan to call witnesses they say demonstrate where Manafort spent his allegedly ill-gotten gains: custom-made suits; Persian rugs; landscaping fees; Land Rovers and Mercedes-Benz vehicles; and season tickets to the New York Yankees, among other items.

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The trial is expected to last about three weeks.

But Mr Manafort quickly faced allegations that he had not disclosed millions of dollars he received for consultancy work he carried out in Ukraine for its then pro-Russian president.

He's been in jail since last month when the judge presiding over the Washington case revoked his bail for allegedly tampering with potential witnesses. Appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1987, Ellis has questioned the scope of Mueller's probe and said Manafort's indictment seemed to be aimed at getting him to provide information on Trump.

Prosecutors also claimed Mr. Manafort's motion was overly broad.

Joshua Dressler, a law professor at Ohio State University, said the evidence against Mr Manafort (69) appears strong, but that he drew a favourable judge in the 78-year old TS Ellis, who is known to be tough on prosecutors, and said the politically charged climate increases the chances of a hung jury.

Seven prosecutors from Mueller's office were expected to feature prominently in the trial, including veteran government attorneys Andrew Weissmann and Greg Andres, who returned to the government from private practice to work on Mueller's probe.

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