Defence attorneys for Donald Trump's former campaign chief Paul Manafort, on trial for tax and bank fraud, sought to shred the credibility of the prosecution's key witness on Tuesday, forcing him to reveal that he had an extramarital affair and stole money from his boss.
As well as being a senior aide on Trump's election campaign, Gates served as the deputy chairman of the U.S. president's inaugural committee.
Mr Andres asked Gates whether he understood that his lies and omissions were illegal. But inside the courtroom, trial proceedings had plodded along almost Trump-free.
He also said Manafort had asked him to disguise income as loans.
On Wednesday, Gates initially testified Manafort told him to be truthful during a 2014 interview with the Federal Bureau of Investigation about offshore shell companies and bank accounts that contained millions of dollars in proceeds from their Ukrainian political work. Gates did not have a chance to respond to those allegations Monday.
Manafort's defense team's primary strategy has been to pin much of the blame for financial crimes on Gates, and some observers felt Downing made some headway toward that goal on Tuesday.
Gates is cooperating in hopes of a lighter prison sentence.
After saying Monday that he committed crimes with Manafort, including concealing offshore accounts to avoid reporting them to the USA government at tax time and claiming false income to get loans, Manafort defense attorney Kevin Downing asked the witness, "This jury is just supposed to believe you after all the lies that you've told and the fraud you've committed?" The funds were logged as loans in order to meet later audits in Cyprus that required documentation of transfers between bank accounts.
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.
Gates implicated himself in broad criminal conduct on the stand, an apparent strategic decision by prosecutors to take some of the steam out of defense questioning.
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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 case has little to do with either man's work for the Trump campaign, which has only tangentially figured in the trial.
And there were Manafort's emails, which prosecutors showed to the courtroom. These accounts, Gates added, predated his tenure at Manafort's DMP International.
In one example, Manafort and Gates emailed each other copies of a doctored profit and loss statement they later sent a bank to help Manafort obtain a loan.
Gates, who was working on Trump's transition team, testified that Manafort had suggested Stephen Calk as a candidate for Army secretary two weeks after Trump was elected. Manafort and Gates left no fingerprints.
It is possible Weissmann is preparing to Manafort's next trial in D.C. - which touches on issues similar to those in Virginia but delves more deeply into Manafort's work in Ukraine and the us registration requirements associated with it. Weissmann made a filing in that case as recently as Monday.
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.
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.
"WTF", Mr Manafort wrote in response, "How could I be blindsided like this".
Prosecutor Greg Andres pointed out he had created a "loan forgiveness letter between Mr. Manafort and Mr. Manafort". When the trial broke for lunch, Manafort looked back at his wife, sitting in the front row, smiled and winked at her, followed by a quick shake of his head, seeming to indicate he was unfazed by the morning's testimony.
In another heated exchange, Downing tried to press Gates into explicitly saying that he had embezzled money from Manafort. In addition, he testified, he did not submit the required forms at Manafort's direction.