Gates is considered the prosecution's star witness given his deep ties to Manafort and his past work on the Trump campaign.
Former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates took the stand Monday to testify against his former boss, Paul Manafort, who's been charged with tax fraud and bank fraud in special counsel Robert Mueller's probe.
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While Gates already pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy against the United States and lying to the FBI, Monday's testimony marked his first time stating he committed crimes with another former Trump associate.
"We didn't report the income or the foreign bank accounts", Gates told jurors, noting that he knew he and Manafort were committing crimes each time.
Aside from admitting to the false expense reports, Gates said he also created a fake letter to an investment company for a different colleague, Steve Brown. And Gates says he also falsified loan applications and other documents to help Manafort obtain millions more in bank loans.
The testimony from Gates, a former adviser to Donald Trump, comes after reaching a plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller earlier this year to testify against his former partner in a lucrative global political consulting firm. He has played those roles throughout the trial, repeatedly scolding prosecutors to rein in their depictions of Manafort's lavish lifestyle and demanding that they "move it along". Lawyers then met privately with the judge for a bench conference.
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Juries are typically skeptical of witnesses who enter into agreements with prosecutors, said Sam Buell, a former federal prosecutor and a white-collar law expert at Duke Law School, so he said he was not surprised by the defense's strategy of going after Gates.
The President is watching proceedings carefully as Mueller appears to be moving closer to his inner circle on multiple fronts and has complained that Manafort has been treated like a mobster - even as the White House has tried to open up some distance between Trump and his former campaign chairman.
During that part of Gates' testimony, he said that he lied in a deposition - part of an unrelated case - about the private equity firm run by Manafort's consulting group. Downing made the comment in court.
Manafort's defense has sought to blame Gates for any illegal conduct and accused him of embezzling millions of dollars from Manafort. She said no, explaining a technicality, and leaving the possibility hanging in the air that Manafort and his wife, who split ownership of DMP International, may not have needed to make the disclosures.
Laporta, looking at a summary of loans to Manafort and his businesses, said she could not see any indication that the loan from Deripaska had been paid off.
Gates has been cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation probe after he cut a plea deal earlier this year.
The trial is set to resume Monday afternoon in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia. When Robert Mueller began investigating Russian interference a year ago, Manafort's questionable lobbying work - the sort of activity that has historically rarely been investigated in Washington - was put under a microscope, exposing him and his associates.