Paul Manafort emails cite control of Cyprus accounts

Manafort trial focus shifts to bank fraud as prosecutors near end of case

Manafort trial focus shifts to bank fraud as prosecutors near end of case

Ex-Trump campaign adviser Paul Manafort's defense seeks to discredit the Mueller team's star witness during cross-examination; Peter Doocy reports on the bombshell day in court. They also need to prove he did so with intent and not by mistake.

Prosecutors on Wednesday planned to call an Federal Bureau of Investigation forensic expert who traced Manafort's accounts. He also refused to let them ask Manafort's former business associate Rick Gates about his reported extramarital affairs.

In another email, Manafort told Dr. K's law firm to make five wire transfers to pay for thousands of dollars worth of clothing from Alan Couture.

The sidebar conversation - which the court's stenographer could hear, but which Gates, the jury and reporters in the room could not - came after Manafort attorney Kevin Downingasked Gates if he'd spoken to the special counsel's team about his time at the Trump campaign.

Ahead of that barrage, Gates implicated himself in a vast amount of criminal conduct on the stand, an apparent strategic decision by prosecutors as they hoped to take some of the steam out of the defense's questioning.

Ellis' comment came after a dramatic three days in which Gates, Manafort's protégé, implicated his former boss in a yearslong financial scheme while also enduring stinging attacks on his character and credibility.

Television cameras are positioned outside the U.S. District Courthouse where former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort is being tried on charges stemming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, in Alexandria, Virginia, U.S., August 7, 2018.

Prosecutor Greg Andres objected to the question before Gates replied, and the attorneys huddled with Ellis out of earshot of Gates, the jury and trial attendees, according to CNN.

Manafort's political work included advising Viktor Yanukovich on policy after he won the Ukrainian presidency, Gates said. Gates said the money he took was sent to his account in the United Kingdom and was never disclosed to his accountants or the USA government.

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Overall, the accountant traced more than $65 million flowing into offshore accounts controlled by Manafort, and she detailed for jurors how more than $15.5 million flowed out to fund his lavish lifestyle between 2010 and 2014.

The case against Manafort has little to do with either man's work for the Trump campaign and there's been no discussion during the trial about whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russian Federation - the central question Mueller's team has tried to answer.

It was a major break for Judge T.S. Ellis III, who in little more than a week of the trial has berated prosecutors for moving too slowly through their case, limited the evidence they can present, and even accused one government lawyer of crying.

"The jury is very sensitive to what it perceives, correctly or not, to be the judge's view of the case", Gillers said. However, the Manafort case - as President Donald Trump has been quick to point out - focuses on Manafort's business dealings and has no direct connection to Manafort's work with the Trump campaign.

Gates, who embezzled hundreds of thousands - possibly millions - of dollars from his boss over a decade, went behind his back to cook numbers and hide his income for him, they have argued.

"Put aside any criticism", Ellis said at the trial proceedings Thursday morning.

"He always had control over the accounts", Gates said of Manafort, and the income was not reported to his bookkeepers, his accountants or the United States tax authorities. "I don't think so", Seferian said.

Gates, who pleaded guilty and is cooperating with Mueller's prosecutors, testified in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, that he helped Manafort falsify documents and move millions of dollars from offshore accounts that were hidden from US tax authorities.

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