Mueller was appointed by the Justice Department's No. 2 official a year ago to take over the FBI's Russian investigation after Sessions recused himself from the probe because of his own meetings with Russia's ambassador to Washington while serving as a campaign adviser to Trump.
But when prosecutors introduced photos of Manafort's high-end condo and expensive suits, Ellis interrupted so as to limit the growing list of evidence jurors would have to consider.
Court papers allege that he "generated tens of millions of dollars in income" from his work in Ukraine and "engaged in a scheme to hide income from United States authorities".
The trial is expected to last several weeks.
Judge T.S. Ellis will preside in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Manafort is accused of orchestrating a multimillion-dollar conspiracy to evade US tax and banking laws.
Cotter said federal prosecutors ultimately have a good track record when it comes to filing charges - 90% of criminal cases never get to trial, he added, because defendants plead guilty, and federal prosecutors have a high conviction rate for cases that do end up in front of a jury.
While Gates and others, including former national security advisor Michael Flynn, have pleaded guilty, Manafort has refused to strike a deal and has insisted on having his day in court.
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I'll say it loud for the people in the back: THIS IS A TAX EVASION AND BANK FRAUD TRIAL.
Under cross-examination, Devine also portrayed Manafort as a skilled political operator, but also a hard worker.
Prosecutors also accuse him of lying to USA banks to obtain real estate loans in a bid to maintain a lavish lifestyle after his client, former pro-Russia Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, fell from power in 2014 and the money stopped. He was actively involved in the jury selection, conferring with his attorneys and passing notes. But Manafort's lawyers appear intent on turning the tables on Gates and make him the main culprit in the affair.
Paul Manafort of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's staff listens during a round table discussion on security at Trump Tower in the Manhattan borough of NY, U.S., August 17, 2016. National security lawyer Bradley Moss discusses the latest developments.
Manafort, a veteran Republican political consultant, served as chairman of Trump's presidential election campaign for three months in 2016 before being forced to step down amid questions about his lobbying work in Ukraine.
Manafort worked on Trump's presidential campaign for five months and attended a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russians that is a focal point of Mueller's probe into possible collusion between the campaign and the Kremlin.
Manafort was indicted along with Gates in Mueller's wide-ranging investigation, but he is the only American charged to opt for a trial instead of cooperating with the government. An acquittal would support efforts by Trump and his allies to portray the probe as a "witch hunt". I'll be shocked if Russian Federation is mentioned once in this trial.
"It sounds to me like they're a little hesitant to have him testify because they don't know what he's going to say, and they don't know whether or not it's going to give Manafort some sort of defense", Thorn said. The former political manager will have another trial in September across the river in Washington on charges of false statements to investors and failing to register as a foreign agent.
One witness, Maximillian Katzman, said Manafort was one of the best customers at the luxury menswear boutique where he used to work in Midtown Manahattan.