STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Prosecutors try to cut out part of Manafort's tax defense

Prosecutors in the trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort argued after midnight Thursday that...

Posted: Aug 2, 2018 2:26 PM
Updated: Aug 2, 2018 2:26 PM

Prosecutors in the trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort argued after midnight Thursday that the defense's assertion that Manafort was never audited by the Internal Revenue Service shouldn't factor into the jury's determination of whether he committed a crime.

Generally, both prosecutors and defense during a trial can attempt to curtail the opposite sides' arguments by asking the judge to decide whether he will allow certain types of evidence to be presented to the jury.

Continents and regions

Court trials

Crime, law enforcement and corrections

Criminal law

Eastern Europe

Europe

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Government organizations - US

Internal Revenue Service

Investigations

Law and legal system

Paul Manafort

Political Figures - US

Politics

Public finance

Russia

Russia meddling investigation

Tax audits

Tax law

Taxes and taxation

Trial and procedure

US Department of the Treasury

US federal departments and agencies

US federal government

In his opening statement Tuesday, defense lawyer Tom Zehnle told the jury they should expect to hear how Manafort never faced a federal inquiry about his taxes, making it suspicious that prosecutors brought this case.

Special counsel Robert Mueller's team, however, said in a court filing after midnight Thursday morning that the point about whether Manafort faced an inquiry about his taxes shouldn't matter. An IRS audit is a civil procedure and not part of the criminal inquiry, prosecutors say.

Manafort is currently fighting in court charges of 18 financial crimes, including submitting false income tax returns to the IRS.

Manafort's "argument that a civil audit should have been conducted and the fact that one was not creates a substantial risk of misleading the jury, prejudicing the government, and inviting jury nullification," prosecutor Van Grack wrote, referring to the outcome in which jurors believe a defendant committed crimes but vote not to convict because they believe the person was not fairly prosecuted.

In his opening statement to the jury, Zehnle criticized what he said was the government's "rush to judgment" in the case.

"You're going to learn that Mr. Manafort was never audited by the IRS, nor were any of his companies. So as you consider this, as you hear all the evidence come in, the documents and the testimony, you might ask yourself whether the government knew enough to initiate the audit. Did they have enough evidence?" Zehnle said.

It's likely on Thursday that Judge T.S. Ellis will address this issue during the trial proceedings without the jury in the room.

Ellis has already decided one other argument from Manafort's team out of trial. The defense lawyers are not allowed to suggest to the jury that an earlier federal investigation that started before the special counsel's office formed ended with a decision not to prosecute Manafort.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 144544

Reported Deaths: 3729
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto956999
Hinds9541193
Harrison6825105
Jackson6068116
Rankin523796
Lee480294
Madison4602102
Forrest367185
Jones344687
Lauderdale3343142
Lafayette313347
Washington3088106
Lamar281849
Bolivar237883
Oktibbeha237760
Lowndes228362
Neshoba2171113
Panola211047
Marshall207247
Leflore200789
Pontotoc193227
Monroe189577
Sunflower189554
Lincoln183964
Warren172157
Tate163349
Union160125
Pike160058
Copiah158840
Yazoo150638
Scott149929
Coahoma147342
Itawamba145533
Alcorn143724
Simpson143553
Pearl River142967
Prentiss139526
Grenada136344
Adams135948
Leake131643
Holmes124461
George121623
Tippah120930
Covington117234
Winston115824
Wayne115722
Hancock114137
Marion110746
Attala106233
Tishomingo106042
Newton102829
Chickasaw102332
Tallahatchie94727
Clarke88253
Clay86726
Jasper81121
Walthall74328
Stone72314
Montgomery71925
Calhoun71213
Carroll70514
Lawrence69914
Noxubee69017
Smith68616
Yalobusha67926
Perry65225
Tunica59519
Greene58422
Claiborne57416
Jefferson Davis54117
Humphreys52518
Amite50814
Benton48217
Quitman4786
Webster41614
Kemper40815
Wilkinson38422
Jefferson34011
Franklin3185
Sharkey30617
Choctaw3057
Issaquena1114
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 234080

Reported Deaths: 3459
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson30620491
Mobile19306358
Tuscaloosa12501148
Madison12410146
Montgomery12040232
Shelby980576
Baldwin826984
Lee753964
Morgan618247
Calhoun5997113
Etowah590564
Marshall581953
Houston507038
DeKalb463535
Cullman412636
Limestone404544
St. Clair398455
Elmore393961
Lauderdale382953
Walker349096
Talladega335942
Colbert296341
Jackson291924
Blount276336
Autauga263439
Franklin244833
Coffee233415
Dale226654
Dallas220231
Russell21803
Chilton216937
Covington212533
Escambia194431
Tallapoosa169290
Chambers168048
Pike155514
Clarke155419
Marion134535
Winston123723
Lawrence122436
Geneva11748
Marengo116924
Barbour116110
Pickens115318
Bibb114217
Butler113741
Randolph99821
Cherokee98924
Hale91631
Washington90018
Clay89423
Fayette84416
Henry8426
Lowndes78729
Monroe76811
Cleburne74414
Crenshaw70330
Macon70020
Bullock69019
Conecuh66814
Perry6686
Lamar6267
Wilcox62418
Sumter55322
Choctaw41713
Greene40217
Coosa3074
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 59°
Columbus
Scattered Clouds
58° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 58°
Oxford
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 57°
Starkville
Broken Clouds
55° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 55°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather