Manafort defence attorneys rip into star prosecution witness

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.

Defense lawyer Kevin Downing guided Gates on a tour through the wide array of lies he's told, and sought to paint him as a man not to be trusted. Mr Downing asked Gates.

The jury has heard how Manafort made tens of millions of dollars working for pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine.

Earlier on Tuesday, the prosecution had continued to question Gates, who described how millions of dollars were allegedly funnelled from entities controlled by Ukrainian businessmen into Manafort's shell companies in Cyprus. At one point, as Gates had trouble recalling the details of his confession, Downing asked him, "Have they confronted you with so many lies that you can't even remember them?"

Rick Gates said under questioning from Manafort's lawyer Wednesday that he told Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and Justice Department lawyers about some of the offshore companies that contained millions of dollars in proceeds from their Ukrainian political work.

Gates is cooperating in hopes of a lighter prison sentence.

Still, that testimony has provided jurors with a damning account as Gates testified that he and Manafort knew they were committing crimes for years. But he was consistent in saying he was now telling the truth and that there was a "strong record" to support his key assertions: that Manafort directed him to hide money from the IRS and fake financial documents to get bank loans.

Jurors saw emails from Manafort imploring Gates to help a banker, Stephen Calk, make inroads into the campaign, inauguration and administration.

Gates said prosecutors agreed not to pursue charges on those matters, and dropped a second indictment against him accusing him of bank and tax fraud. "In reality, it was basically money moving between accounts", Gates said.

During a series of redirect questions on Wednesday, Manafort's attorney Kevin Downing asked Gates if he remembers telling special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russian Federation probe MORE's office that he had four extramarital affairs. But inside the courtroom, trial proceedings had plodded along almost Trump-free.

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Gates testified Tuesday that Manafort hit the roof when faced with an enormous tax bill.

Gates laying out a roadmap on how he and Manafort allegedly dodged US taxes. after admitting Monday they committed numerous crimes as business partners.

Manafort is charged with 18 counts of bank and tax fraud, and his trial in Alexandria, Va., is the first to be brought on by indictments from special counsel Robert Mueller.

The face-off between longtime business associates and former senior members of the Trump campaign drew scores of people who waited in line for hours outside the courthouse and then jammed into both the courtroom and an overflow room that contained a video feed of the proceedings.

Rick Gates clarified various aspects of the government's case against his former boss Paul Manafort during extensive direct testimony on Tuesday.

Gates acknowledged during testimony on Monday to embezzling money from Manafort.

"Mr. Manafort requested. that we did not disclose foreign bank accounts", Gates testified.

When asked if he took "unauthorized expenses" from Manafort to "fund your separate secret life", Gates replied, "yes, I acknowledge I had a period of time where I had another relationship". "Mr Manafort had the same path". Manafort broke his stare only to review government exhibits on a small monitor in front of him.

In addition, Gates has admitted to other criminal conduct.

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. He also committed credit card and mortgage fraud, falsified a letter for a colleague involved in an investment deal and made false statements in a deposition at Manafort's direction.

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