FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2018, file photo, Paul Manafort leaves the federal courthouse in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)
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Paul Manafort Tuesday will become the first of President Donald Trump's former aides to go on trial, accused of bank and tax fraud by federal investigators probing Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.Manafort, who has pleaded not guilty, faces 18 counts. The nine bank fraud and conspiracy charges alone carry maximum sentences of 30 years each, and Judge Ellis noted in April that Manafort was potentially facing the rest of his life behind bars.Given the strength of the evidence, however, some legal experts have suggested Manafort may be banking on an eventual pardon from Trump, who has called his former campaign chairman a "nice guy" who has been treated unfairly.Mueller's team has estimated it could take eight to 10 days to present its case to the jury, suggesting the trial may last at least three weeks.If allowed, prosecutors may delve deeper into Manafort's Russian connections. Last month Mueller's team disclosed in a court filing what it said was a $10 million loan to Manafort from Oleg Deripaska, a magnate known to have close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.Of the four former Trump aides ensnared by the probe, Manafort is the only one to go to trial.
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