Star witness testimony ends under attack by ex-Trump aide Manafort's lawyer

Star witness testimony ends under attack by ex-Trump aide Manafort's lawyer

A confessed felon who helped President Donald Trump get elected wrapped up his testimony against an alleged criminal who ran Trump's presidential campaign on Wednesday, concluding three days of damning revelations about two men working for a president who claimed he hires only "the best people".

Gates acknowledged that he did for two months and that he took first-class flights and stayed in "fancy hotels" around Europe, but said the money came from bonuses rather than illicit gains.

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III has interrupted prosecutors throughout the trial to encourage them to speed things along. Trump was indirectly referenced in multiple ways throughout the testimony, highlighting the risks to the president of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. The charges are not related to Manafort's work with the Trump campaign.

Using charts, emails and financial and tax records, Magionos told jurors how she traced millions of dollars back to his hidden foreign bank accounts. He testified that Mr. Manafort directed him not to report the existence of offshore bank accounts that prosecutors allege were used to hide millions of. They have tried several times to impugn his credibility before the jury.

Wednesday's drama comes after Gates spent large chunks of Monday and Tuesday on the stand detailing a long list of crimes he and Manafort committed, sometimes together, sometimes separately. Manafort business partner Rick Gates testified Tuesday that it was Weissmann who confronted him about a lie he had told special counsel investigators, and it was Weissmann who told him he would have to admit to that lie in an additional charge to keep his plea deal with the special counsel's office alive. Gates said he was responsible for collecting all relevant documents for the loan applications. Welch said the monetary figure was based on an accounting method used by Manafort.

Prosecutors summoned Mr Gates to give jurors the first-hand account of a co-conspirator they say helped Mr Manafort carry out an elaborate offshore tax-evasion and bank fraud scheme. Gates also provided the first witness testimony that overlaps with Trump's presidential campaign.

Gates struck a deal with special counsel Robert Mueller in February, pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy against the United States and one count of making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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The case against Manafort has little to do with either man's work for the Trump campaign and there's been no discussion during the trial about whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russian Federation - the central question Mueller's team has tried to answer. Referring to Manafort's pretrial confinement, Trump asked whether Manafort was being treated worse than Al Capone.

Day seven of the Paul Manafort trial took a technical turn Wednesday, an indication that prosecutors could be wrapping up their case against the former Trump campaign chairman.

Downing asked Gates if he had told the special counsel's office that "you actually engaged in four extramarital affairs?"

Gates served as a deputy for Manafort's political consulting business, and then as his deputy on the Trump campaign in 2016. The special counsel's office has pushed back against the leak allegation, and while an Federal Bureau of Investigation agent testified he was present at a meeting with AP reporters about Manafort, the agent said the AP was offered little more than a "no comment" and an acknowledgement that their reporters were generally on track.

When Downing resumed his questioning about what he called Gates' "secret life", Gates testified that he'd "made many mistakes over many years and I regret them". Courtroom illustration courtesy of Bill Hennessy.

Gates, who had been on stand for more than seven hours by conclusion of Tuesday's testimony, is anticipated to be on stand for an additional hour more of cross-examination, according to Manafort's attorneys.

Gates described to jurors how he repeatedly submitted fake financial documents at Manafort's behest as his former boss became concerned he was paying too much in taxes and, later, that his funds were drying up.

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