4 Insights As Manafort Trial Enters Week 2

Paul Manafort's business partner, Rick Gates, has become the center of the defense's case. They say he is behind the financial crimes Manafort is accused of. Gates is expected to testify this week.
The defense team has accused former Manafort associate Rick Gates of embezzling money and said Gates is cooperating and lying to investigators to cover his tracks. Source: Brendan Smialowski

Bank and tax fraud trials normally aren't very compelling theater.

When it's the former campaign chairman for the current president of the United States, however, and it's the first trial brought by a special counsel tasked with investigating Russian interference in American democracy, things are a bit more interesting.

TV cameras lined up before 5 a.m. in preparation for the first day of Paul Manafort's federal trial last week. At one point Wednesday, after a prosecutor played coy about a key witness testifying, reporters scurried to break the news like "rats," outspoken Judge T.S. Ellis III remarked.

And that's not even mentioning the $15,000 ostrich leather jacket.

Here are four insights from the week that was and a look

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