Manafort’s prosecutors hope to show ostrich jacket photo to DC jury
The photos of Paul Manafort’s ostrich and python jackets make may it in front of a jury after all.
After prosecutors used the luxury purchases as evidence in the former Trump campaign chairman’s Virginia trial this month but weren’t permitted by the judge to show photos of them to the jury, they told the federal court in DC on Friday that they’d like to use the pictures at his second criminal trial next month.
Photographs of “clothing with Alan Couture labels” — which went viral after prosecutors pointed out in the Alexandria federal courtroom the $15,000 ostrich jacket Manafort had bought from the custom menswear boutique — have resurfaced on prosecutors’ list of exhibits for the second trial.
Manafort’s other lavish purchases — for home improvements, high-end home audio-video equipment and luxury cars — may have an encore at the DC trial as well. Prosecutors filed the list for the Sept. 17 trial in DC federal court on Friday night.
The very large joint filing from the special counsel’s office and Manafort’s defense team lays out the prosecution’s plans for the trial.
While the filing doesn’t disclose the prosecutors’ full witness list, it shows how they plan to build on the financial evidence related to foreign bank accounts they deployed for Manafort’s first trial in Virginia in order to make their case that he benefited from his allegedly illegal and covert Ukrainian lobbying efforts through 2014.
Manafort is charged in the second trial with failing to register as a foreign lobbyist, conspiracy to launder money and tampering with witnesses after his indictment. He has pleaded not guilty.
It appears prosecutors may also show the jury emails written in Russian or Ukrainian and may discuss the work of several prominent Washingtonians and businesses around Manafort, including lobbyist Tony Podesta and the law firm Skadden Arps.
In all, prosecutors have more than 2,100 pieces of evidence prepared for the trial — more than five times the amount in Manafort’s Virginia trial. It’s largely composed of emails and memos about finances, politics and Ukrainians.
The prosecutors will present a case for 10 to 12 days, they said in their filing. Manafort’s team doesn’t know yet if it will present a case, the filing said, but if it does that will take another three to four days.
In the Virginia trial, prosecutors had sought to prove that Manafort committed 18 banking and tax crimes. Jurors convicted this week him on eight counts. They could not agree on the 10 remaining charges, and those were declared a mistrial.
The first trial lasted a little over three weeks. Manafort has not yet been sentenced for the federal crimes in Virginia, but he awaits his second trial in jail.