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Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort arrives at a federal courthouse November 2, 2017. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Paul Manafort's trial began after the jury was seated on Tuesday with Manafort's defense team quickly placing blame on his confidant and business partner, Rick Gates, saying he lied to both Manafort and federal investigators about Manafort’s taxes.

Why it matters: Manafort's trial is the first of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the Trump Campaign and potential ties to Russia. Though Mueller's team likely won't make any reference to "Russians" or "collusion," and instead focus on alleged financial crimes by Manafort. The trial is expected to last three weeks.

Manafort faces charges of tax and bank fraud in relation to the laundering of $30 million in income, one count acting as an unregistered foreign agent, two counts of making false statements, one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice and another count of obstruction of justice.

The latest from the trial:

Prosecutors described Manafort as a "shrewd" liar in the opening statements for his trial today. Manafort's lawyers placed much of the blame on Rick Gates.

  • Manafort's defense team claimed he never "intentionally" misled the IRS, with attorney Thomas Zehnle claiming Manafort's financial arrangements were requested by the people in Ukraine funding his work.

Tad Devine was the first witness prosecutors called to the stand. Devine was Bernie Sander's chief strategist during his 2016 campaign.

  • Devine worked with Manafort and Gates in Ukraine in 2009-10 on the campaign trail for the Party of Regions — a pro-Russia political party, reports the Washington Post.
  • Devine said Manafort was in charge of the campaign and described he and Gates as underlings. He claimed Manafort brought American-style politics to Ukraine.

This story has been updated to reflect the latest developments.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Key clean power provision likely won't survive in Dems' spending bill

A construction worker walks along a dirt road at the Avangrid Renewables La Joya wind farm in Encino, New Mexico, on Aug. 5, 2020. Photo: Cate Dingley/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A pillar of Democrats' plans to speed deployment of zero-carbon electricity is likely to be cut from major spending and tax legislation they are struggling to move on a party-line vote, per multiple reports and a Capitol Hill aide.

Driving the news: The New York Times, citing anonymous congressional aides and lobbyists, reports that West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) has told the White House he "strongly opposes" the Clean Electricity Performance Program.

Updated 4 hours ago - World

Fatal stabbing of British MP David Amess declared a terrorist incident

Police outside Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, England, on Oct. 15. Photo: John Keeble/Getty Images

Authorities have declared the death of David Amess a terrorist incident, hours after the Conservative Party lawmaker in the U.K. was fatally stabbed while meeting with local constituents in a church in eastern England on Friday.

The big picture: The Metropolitan Police has found "a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism."

Biden: DOJ should prosecute those who defy Jan. 6 subpoenas

President Biden speaks with reporters at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that the Justice Department should prosecute those who defy subpoenas from the Jan. 6 select committee.

Why it matters: The president's remarks come one day after Donald Trump ally Steve Bannon failed to show up for a deposition before the committee.