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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

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The GOP is getting torn apart by a spreading revolt against party leaders for failing to stand up for former President Trump and punish his critics.

Why it matters: Republican leaders suffered a nightmarish two months in Washington. Outside the nation’s capital, it's even worse.

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The limits of Biden's plan to cancel student debt

Data: New York Fed Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax; Chart: Axios Visuals

There’s a growing consensus among Americans who want President Biden to cancel student debt — but addressing the ballooning debt burden is much more complicated than it seems.

Why it matters: Student debt is stopping millions of Americans from buying homes, buying cars and starting families. And the crisis is rapidly getting worse.

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In a world where most Americans are isolated and forced to laugh, cry and mourn without friends or family by their side, viral moments can offer critical opportunities to unite the country or divide it.

Driving the news: President Biden's inauguration was produced to create several made-for-social viral moments, a tactic similar to what the Democratic National Committee and the Biden campaign pulled off during the Democratic National Convention.