Today marked the seventh day of the Paul Manafort trial, the first trial to be held as a result of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
Manafort, a lobbyist and former campaign chairman for Trump, is on trial for bank fraud and failure to register as a foreign agent while conducting political work in the Ukraine. Although these charges do not directly imply any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, national security expert Juliette Kayyem told Boston Public Radio Wednesday, that this trial shows that Manafort, and by extension the Trump campaign, were highly susceptible to foreign influence.
Rick Gates, Manafort’s business associate and a deputy campaign chairman for trump, testified earlier this week that he and Manafort knowing had 15 foreign illegal accounts that they did not report to the government.
“They had built a criminal enterprise based on foreign ties. That makes them susceptible to the kind of blackmail, corruption, and all sorts of other things that are within Mueller's mandate,” Kayyem told Boston Public Radio.
Kayyem called the trial the framework of Mueller's case against Trump by demonstrating that the people surrounding his campaign were agents of foreign powers.
“The ties are there and they are sort of exposing themselves. This is fully in the lane of what Mueller is doing,” Kayyem said.