Credibility of star witness questioned as Gates wraps testimony at Manafort trial

Credibility of star witness questioned as Gates wraps testimony at Manafort trial

Manafort was on Trump's campaign team from March to August 2016, starting as a delegate-wrangler and serving as campaign chairman in the last three months.

Manafort, 69, is the first defendant to go to court to fight charges stemming from Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Those two potential witnesses come from Federal Savings Bank, whose CEO and chairman overlooked Manafort's fraud in hopes of getting a job in the Trump administration, according to prosecutors from the Special Counsel's Office.

Federal Bureau of Investigation forensic accountant Morgan Magionos showed her work on tracking Manafort's Ukrainian money and payments out of his foreign accounts.

Magionos provided some of the most damning evidence yet that Manafort knew about and had direct control over some of the 31 foreign bank accounts in Cyprus, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and the United Kingdom that he never reported to his bookkeeper and tax preparers.

She also confirmed that Manafort was present at the loan's closing to sign the final loan application in person, even though she sometimes communicated with Gates on details. "Pls (sic) make the five transfers listed below from the Leviathan account and confirm to me when completed", Manafort wrote.

Ellis had erupted on the prosecutors during the testimony of IRS agent Michael Welch, saying he hadn't authorized Welch to watch the trial.

At the time he worked for Trump, jurors heard, Manafort's business in Ukraine had always been dried up, and his firm didn't have any clients. "You and I were talking during the break--the jury can't be happy with this judge because of the snide, snarky comments".

The judge overseeing the Paul Manafort trial, U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis, has clashed with prosecutors in recent days.

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

"I'm not happy with this judge", Napolitano said on "The Daily Briefing" on Wednesday.

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At times, Ellis has crossed lines, Litman said.

During the testimony, Manafort did not stare Gates down as he did Monday.

Manafort's attorneys have signaled they will seek to blame Gates and have accused him of embezzling millions of dollars from Manafort. "I have taken responsibility".

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.

An IRS agent says Paul Manafort didn't report at least $16 million in income on his taxes. Witnesses are usually excluded from watching unless allowed by the judge.

According to Gates, Manafort, who had by then left the campaign, asked Gates in various ways to use his position on Trump's team to do favors for Stephen Calk, a banker who had loaned Manafort millions of dollars - loans that Mueller's team alleges were consummated under false pretenses.

Gates pleaded guilty in February to conspiracy and making false statements in exchange for his testimony against Manafort and cooperation with the Special Counsel's office. 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. 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. And he lied to special counsel investigators after striking a plea agreement with them.

Downing summed up his questioning by asking Gates: "After all these lies, and the fraud you have committed, you expect this jury to believe you?" His lawyers attacked his former colleague's character and credibility in court this week.

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