Manafort team attacks star witness over affair, fraud and 'so many lies'

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

He is the first subject of special counsel Robert S. Mueller's investigation to stand trial.

Gates appeared nervous on the witness stand at the court in Alexandria, Virginia, blinking frequently, his throat apparently dry as he spoke.

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. And on Wednesday, an Federal Bureau of Investigation forensic accountant said Manafort hid more than 30 offshore accounts in three types of currencies from the IRS.

Although the allegations of collusion between Donald Trump and Russian Federation are not at issue in this trial, any significant blows to the government's case are likely be seized on by the president's defenders, including conservative media, to support his contention that Mueller's investigation is a "rigged witch-hunt". "You said you had a made mistake", the lawyer said.

While Gates and others have pleaded guilty, Manafort has refused to strike a deal and legal experts say he may be holding out hopes of a pardon from Trump.

Gates conceded it was "in excess of 50 to 100 years", but said any eventual sentence - including avoiding jail by receiving probation - would be up to a judge.

He said Manafort asked for tickets to Trump's inauguration so he could give them to a banker involved in approving a loan at the center of his financial fraud trial.

The firm's director was known to Manafort and Gates as "Doctor K".

"You and I were talking during the break, the jury can't be happy with this judge because of the snide, snarky comments", he added to Perino.

Downing at one point asked whether Mueller's investigators had interviewed Gates about his role in the campaign, prompting an objection from prosecutors and a sidebar conference with U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III. He said of Manafort: "I believe he understood his name would not be represented, nor would mine".

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

During his review, he said, he discovered that numerous foreign wire transfers did not appear on general ledgers for Manafort's political consultancy and therefore, "I was not able to trace it into the tax return".

At times, Ellis has crossed lines, Litman said.

He also admitted to embezzling money from other employers in the past.

In cross-examination on Tuesday and Wednesday, Downing fired questions at Gates for several hours as he sought to portray him as an inveterate liar and thief to undermine his credibility with the jury.

"I'm here. I'm trying to change", he said.

Ellis has repeatedly pushed prosecutors to whittle down their case to save time.

Gates testified that he and Manafort knew they were committing crimes for years, saying they had stashed money in foreign bank accounts and falsified bank loan documents.

Manafort is the first person to be tried on charges brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 USA election.

Asked if he had been coached, Gates replied, "The only answer I was told was to tell the truth".

He badgered Gates into admitting that he had engaged in an extramarital affair with a woman in London roughly 10 years ago and briefly questioned Gates about three other affairs before prosecutors objected.

It's a practice he has admitted to doing to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars from Manafort, and under pressure from Downing, he agreed that it could be called embezzlement.

Gates admitted to hiding his own income from the IRS in offshore bank accounts.

  • Jon Douglas