Paul Manafort trial continues into third week

The trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort resumes Monday afternoon, as prosecutors’ arguments — which are expected to wrap up on Monday — spill into a third week.

The case against Manafort is the first major test in court for special counsel Robert Mueller’s team, who is currently leading an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Manafort has been charged with 18 tax and banking crimes. He has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.

The defense side of the case remains completely unknown, and it is still not clear if they will call Manafort himself to testify.

Friday’s testimonies were stalled nearly five hours by private discussions between Judge T.S. Ellis and lawyers for both sides. The content of the meetings have yet to be revealed publicly.

Once the trial picked back up, jurors heard from two employees at Federal Savings Bank and a ticket operations manager for the New York Yankees.

The testimony by Yankees ticket operations manager Irfan Kirimca showed more big spending by Manafort, who according to Kirimca’s testimony, had a multi-year agreement with the team to buy four seats for 81 games in a season, totaling more than $200,000 per year.

Payments for the tickets were paid through one of the dozens of Cypriot accounts Manafort allegedly hid from the government, used to collect his Ukrainian lobbying income and for which he never paid taxes. Manafort’s deputy, Rick Gates, was not involved in making the payments, Kirimca said Friday.

Friday also included a filing by prosecutors asking Ellis to correct a previous statement made to the jury. It was the second instance during the trial where prosecutors asked Ellis to correct a statement he had made. This instance was regarding a remark from Thursday during a witness’ testimony about alleged bank fraud conspiracy.

Ellis made a comment stating that the attorneys “might want to spend time on a loan that was granted,” but prosecutors argued in the filing that “the comment misrepresents the law regarding bank fraud conspiracy, improperly conveys the court’s opinion of the facts, and is likely to confuse and mislead the jury.”

The request made by prosecutors has gone unaddressed in public, including to the jury.