By CHAD DAY, MATTHEW BARAKAT and STEPHEN BRAUN
Alexandria, Va. (AP) — Jurors are set to begin deliberations in the financial fraud trial of Paul Manafort.
The case against the former Trump campaign chairman is the first courtroom test for special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. The verdict, in the hands of 12 jurors beginning Thursday morning, will provide a measure of the special counsel’s ability to make charges stick.
The trial has been closely watched by President Donald Trump as he seeks to publicly undermine Mueller’s probe.
Manafort is charged with 18 felony counts dealing with tax evasion and bank fraud.
Prosecutors say the government’s case boils down to "Mr. Manafort and his lies." Attorneys for Manafort argued against his guilt by saying he left the particulars of his finances to other people, including his former deputy Rick Gates.