Trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort to begin in US

He is accused of funnelling millions of dollars through offshore accounts

Trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort to begin in US

Paul Manafort. Picture by: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP/Press Association Images

The trial of Donald Trump's former campaign manager is getting under way today.

69-year-old Paul Manafort faces charges relating to money he is accused of funnelling through offshore accounts.

The charges - which Mr Manafort denies - include false tax returns and bank fraud.

Prosecutors allege that Mr Manafort used "hidden overseas wealth" - amounting to millions of dollars - to enjoy a "lavish lifestyle in the United States, without paying taxes on that income".

The charges emerged as part of the ongoing special counsel probe led by Robert Mueller, although largely predate Mr Manafort's work with the Trump campaign.

Jury selection for Mr Manafort's trial is set to begin in Virginia today.

BBC reports he could face a 30 year prison term if found guilty.

Last month, Mr Manafort - a veteran lobbyist who served as Trump campaign manager for several months in 2016 - was sent to jail to await his trial, after pleading not guilty to new charges of witness tampering.

Later this year he faces a separate trial related to his Ukrainian political work.

Meanwhile, President Trump has again insisted "collusion is not a crime" amid his continuing criticism of the special counsel probe.

He has frequently slammed the investigation as a 'witch hunt'.

Today, he wrote in a tweet:

Mr Mueller has charged several dozen people and received guilty pleas from others, including Mr Manafort's business associate Rick Gates and President Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn.