Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(ALEXANDRIA, Va.) — Closing statement are underway in the financial crimes trial of Paul Manafort, the former campaign chairman for Donald Trump, and prosecutors are taking the opportunity to paint Manafort as a liar and a schemer.
“When you follow the trail of Mr. Manafort’s money, it’s littered with lies,” special counsel prosecutor Greg Andres said in federal court on Wednesday, telling jurors that Manafort is “not above the law.”
Manafort is on trial in Alexandria, Virginia, where special counsel Robert Mueller has accused Manafort of shielding millions of dollars in off-shore bank accounts from American tax-collectors. During his closing arguments, Andres reminded jurors of the $60 million Manafort is accused of hiding in 31 separate bank accounts.
“He lied to his tax preparers, he lied to his bookkeeper, because he wanted to hide that money and avoid paying taxes,” Andres added.
If found guilty, Manafort, 69, faces a prison sentence of up to 305 years. Manafort has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Special counsel prosecutors rested their case on Monday after bringing more than two dozen accountants and associates of Manafort to the stand. On Tuesday, Manafort’s defense team declined to mount a defense or bring any witnesses to the stand.
After closing statements from both sides, a 12-person jury will deliberate and return their verdict.
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