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Risks pile up for Trump as Manafort heads to trial

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Risks pile up for Trump as Manafort trial nears

The first trial prosecuted by special counsel Robert Mueller will offer the clearest public view yet of what his investigators have on President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, with a catalogue of evidence and testimony undercutting the president’s repeated claims that the Russia investigation is a “witch hunt.”

Trump, his lawyers and some of his closest associates have spent months publicly dismissing the Manafort case, scheduled to begin this week in an Alexandria, Virginia, federal court. They argue it’s all about the personal legal woes of someone who has lobbied for some of the world’s most controversial leaders but has nothing to do with the president or his 2016 campaign.

“We have no concern about it,” Rudy Giuliani, one of Trump’s personal attorneys, told POLITICO. “The whole case will be like everything else. They chase it down an alley until they think they’ve got something legitimate, and it will not connect to the original investigation.”

But the Manafort trial will create daily reminders of the Mueller investigation, as commentators pile onto cable networks to discuss what the case could indicate about the president’s own exposure — and, potentially, as the president himself offers his own analysis on Twitter.

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