Gates on the witness stand | LRC Presents: All the President's Lawyers

Paul Manafort's associate says 'hundreds' of emails prove former Trump campaign chief directed fraud

Paul Manafort's protege on Wednesday wrapped up his testimony after implicating the former Trump campaign chairman and himself in financial crimes and also enduring stinging attacks on his character and credibility.

The testimony, stretching across three days, created an extraordinary courtroom showdown between the two former Trump campaign aides who were indicted together by Mueller but who have since opted for radically different strategies: Manafort is the lone American charged by Mueller to opt for trial, whereas Gates pleaded guilty and agreed to co-operate by testifying against his former boss. He also said Manafort should have reported multiple foreign bank accounts to the IRS in those years.

Manafort, 69, faces tax evasion and bank fraud charges, as he is accused of hiding a "significant percentage" of income earned from his lobbyist work in Ukraine from the IRS.

In one case, Magionos traced how foreign accounts were used by Manafort to pay for more than $3.5 million in home improvements.

During the testimony, Manafort did not stare Gates down as he did Monday. Gates had testified earlier in the trial about one extra-marital affair. "You said you had a made mistake", the lawyer said.

The prosecution's case against Manafort doesn't rest exclusively on Gates. She reached out to Manafort and Gates repeatedly for clarity, and they assured the bank several times that their documents were correct.

Prosecutors had asked Ellis to instruct the jury that they hadn't done anything improper in an attempt to fix any unfair prejudice.

Litman said he believed the indictment was hard to put together - "but once put together, a pretty straightforward case to prove".

Manafort's lawyers have not yet indicated whether they plan to call witnesses as part of his defense. He was so desperate, prosecutors say, that he allegedly falsified loan application documents to keep himself afloat.

On Wednesday, after eliciting an admission from Gates that his plea agreement could be thrown out if he lied, leading to further charges, Downing asked him if had told the Special Counsel "that you actually engaged in four extramarital affairs?"

In three days of testimony, Gates acknowledged cheating on his wife, stealing from Manafort and initially lying to special counsel Robert Mueller's team investigating Russian election meddling.

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"I do somehow think he has gotten his back up personally about Greg Andres".

"I'm here. I'm trying to change", he said. In one example, Manafort and Gates emailed each other copies of a doctored profit and loss statement they later sent a bank to help Manafort obtain a loan.

That, Downing said, would invalidate his plea deal.

"The jury is very sensitive to what it perceives, correctly or not, to be the judge's view of the case", Gillers said.

In a filing Thursday, Mueller's team said it wanted to keep secret a discussion between trial attorneys and Judge T.S. Ellis regarding a question to Gates secret because the transcript of the conversation would "reveal details of the ongoing investigation".

In a dramatic moment before the jury, Manafort's defence counsel, Kevin Downing, put it to the government's star witness: "There's another life, right, the other Rick Gates?".

That is expected to continue on Wednesday - and then prosecutors are expected to have an opportunity to question Gates again and try to rehabilitate him.

Gates, who is awaiting sentencing, told jurors that he embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars from Manafort by filing false expense reports. Gates was asked about 11 Cypriot accounts, and he testified that they were all owned by Ukrainian businessmen.

"This jury is just supposed to believe you after all the lies that you've told and the fraud you've committed?" asked Downing.

Downing's smear of Gates may not matter if jurors think the documentary and email evidence prosecutors presented lines up with Gates' testimony.

"They may not like him".

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