Published: Fri, August 10, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Paul Manafort trial day 8: Prosecutors expect to wrap up case soon

Paul Manafort trial day 8: Prosecutors expect to wrap up case soon

Mr Gates pleaded guilty months later and agreed to co-operate in Mr Mueller's investigation of Mr Manafort, the only American charged by the special counsel to opt for trial instead of a guilty plea.

Both Gates and Manafort worked on Trump's 2016 campaign. That includes longtime Manafort deputy Rick Gates, who testified against his former boss.

Judge T.S. Ellis III has subjected the prosecution team to repeated tongue-lashings over the pace of their questioning, the massive trove of their evidence and even their facial expressions during bench conferences.

But the defense team has taken on the the daunting task of convincing jurors that Gates, who was in constant communication with Manafort and carrying out his wishes, is an unreliable witness who had simply gone rogue and independently chose to boost his boss' personal income over a period of several years.

Check back for updates on this developing story and read Thursday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details. He was aware that Manafort was acting as an unregistered foreign agent in lobbying for Ukraine, he said.

She essentially connected the dots of testimony from previous witnesses - vendors, Manafort's bookkeeper and accountants, and Gates - but did so in a way that presented direct links between one witness's part of the story and another's.

Rick Gates has been the government's star witness in Manafort's financial fraud trial, testifying how, at the behest of his longtime boss, he helped hide millions of dollars in foreign income and submitted fake mortgage and tax documents.

He showed distaste for the Manafort case early on.

He told jurors he embezzled from Mr Manafort by filing false expense reports. He is the first person to be tried on charges brought by Mueller's probe into Russian interference in the 2016 USA election.

In one case, Magionos traced how foreign accounts were used by Manafort to pay for more than $3.5 million in home improvements. Gates also said Manafort floated banker Stephen Calk's name for consideration as Secretary of the Army, a post he ultimately did not get. But on Thursday, Ellis told jurors he went overboard when he erupted at prosecutors for allowing an expert witness to remain in the courtroom during the trial.

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Prosecutors had reminded Ellis following his scolding in front of the jury they had discussed allowing IRS revenue agent Michael Welch to sit in the courtroom. Maybe I made a mistake. He finished his testimony Wednesday, Day 7 of the trial. He frequently used the phrases "It's possible" and "I don't recall" as Downing challenged him about inconsistencies in testimony he gave to the special counsel's office.

Kevin Downing, Manafort's lead defense attorney, sought to undermine Gates' credibility in the eyes of the jury on Tuesday, pressing him about embezzling money from Manafort and an extramarital affair.

"I don't care what the transcript says, maybe I made a mistake", Ellis fumed.

Gates served as a deputy for Manafort's political consulting business, and then as his deputy on the Trump campaign in 2016.

Welch testified after the government's star witness, Rick Gates, ended three days of testimony on Wednesday after admitting he lied, stole money and cheated as lawyers for Manafort, his former boss, attacked his character and credibility.

"In essence, I was living beyond my means", Gates said. Even before the trial began, he accused Mr. Mueller, the special counsel probing Russian meddling in the 2016 election, of using the case as a way to gather evidence against President Trump.

After Yanukovych lost power in 2014, "I would say it decreased the income stream", Gates, wearing a blue suit, told the court matter-of-factly.

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

Gates, under questioning by prosecutor Greg Andres, admitted that he padded his expense accounts with phony charges without Manafort's knowledge, siphoning "several hundred thousand" dollars from the secret accounts.

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