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

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

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

He testified that he and Manafort knew they were committing crimes for years, concealing money in foreign bank accounts and falsifying bank loan documents.

The accountant testified she was unaware if the loan was recognized as income or ever paid back.

Manafort, a longtime Republican political consultant, has pleaded not guilty to 18 counts of bank fraud, tax fraud and failing to disclose foreign bank accounts. Trump was indirectly referenced in multiple ways throughout the testimony, highlighting the risks to the president of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

Judge Ellis tells the jury he was wrong in criticizing prosecutors yesterday for having a witnesses, an IRS agent, in the room to hear other witness testimony.

Federal Bureau of Investigation forensic accountant Morgan Magionos used charts, emails from Manafort to his lawyers in Cyprus, and other corroborating documents to detail how Manafort funneled roughly $15 million from hidden offshore accounts to purchase home electronic installations, real estate, fancy clothing, such as the now-infamous $15,000 ostrich-skin jacket, and other luxuries from 2010 to 2014.

Gates also said that he did not report 15 foreign offshore bank accounts to the government.

Numerous emails admitted into evidence Wednesday showed how Manafort personally directed wire transfers from such accounts.

Perhaps the Gates saga could boil down to one exchange about crime and consequences, and the decision he had made to turn on Manafort.

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III has been pushing prosecutors to hurry through their case.

Andres also revisited the embezzlement Gates committed against Manafort.

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

More recently, after the launch of the Mueller investigation but before his plea bargain, Gates lied to the FBI about a meeting between Manafort and an unnamed US Congressman regarding a "specific issue". He was aware that Manafort was acting as an unregistered foreign agent in lobbying for Ukraine, he said.

"Let me be clear, I don't care what the transcript said ... don't do it again", Ellis said, admonishing the prosecutor Uzo Asonye.

At times, Ellis has crossed lines, Litman said. But Gates' testimony also revealed he was a deeply disreputable co-conspirator as Manafort's underling. "I am here. I have accepted responsibility and I am trying to change".

Before jurors are sent off to deliberate at the end of a case, the judge typically tells them not to read anything into either the judge's words or body language, attorney and law professor Seth Abramson said in an email. Prosecutors had previously said that Manafort's interactions with Calk were the only part of the trial expected to overlap with his Trump campaign role. Witnesses are usually excluded from watching unless allowed by the judge.

Gates testified that he engaged in an extensive criminal conspiracy with Manafort that lasted seven years and included lying to the Internal Revenue Service to avoid paying taxes and providing false documents to banks to obtains millions of dollars in loans.

During cross examination, defense attorney Downing tried to undermine Gates' credibility, noting the benefits he had gotten from his deal with the government, the fact that he made a false statement to investigators, his "scheme" to embezzle from Manafort, and even his "secret life" with a mistress.

Prosecutor Greg Andres asked Gates on Wednesday whether Mueller's team had told him how to answer questions. Gates testified that he had an extramarital affair a decade ago, and also that he embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars from Manafort.

The questioning is part of the Manafort defense strategy of presenting Gates to the jury as someone who lies and can not be trusted.

The question for jurors is how much that matters. His lawyers attacked his former colleague's character and credibility in court this week.

"They may not like him".

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