July 31, 2018 / 8:24 PM / a year ago

Manafort's lawyer says former business partner Gates to blame

Defense attorneys Jay Nanavati, (L), and Richard Westling, (R), arrive ahead of Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort arriving at U.S. District Court for the opening day of his trial on bank and tax fraud charges stemming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, in Alexandria, Virginia, U.S., July 31, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Reuters) - A lawyer for Paul Manafort, the former campaign chairman of U.S. President Donald Trump, on Tuesday accused Manafort’s former partner Rick Gates of embezzling money and blamed Gates for the financial charges against Manafort.

“Rick Gates had his hand in the cookie jar,” defense attorney Thomas Zehnle said in opening statements at Manafort’s trial in federal court in Virginia. “Little did Paul know that Rick was lining his own pockets.”

Reporting by Nathan Layne; Editing by Will Dunham

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