USA prosecutors on Monday rested their case against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort after 10 days of testimony alleging how he avoided taxes on at least $16 million of income and lied to banks to maintain an extravagant lifestyle once his work for pro-Kremlin politicians in Ukraine dried up.
Prosecutors rested their case on Monday, closing two weeks of a testimony in which they introduced a trove of documentary evidence as they sought to prove Manafort's guilt on 18 separate criminal counts. The case arose from U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
Manafort told Judge T.S. Ellis that he would not testify during a brief questioning at the podium before the jury was brought in the room.
They include five counts of filing false tax returns between 2010 and 2014, four counts of failing to report foreign bank accounts, and nine counts of bank fraud and conspiracies to commit bank fraud.
Manafort is accused of hiding millions of dollars in income he received advising Ukrainian politicians.
The case against Manafort does not relate to any allegations of Russian election interference or possible coordination with the Trump campaign, the main thrust of Mueller's investigation.
Gates, Manafort's right-hand man, was the government's star witness, while Manafort's lawyers have put attacking his credibility at the heart of their defense.
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James Brennan, a vice president at Federal Savings Bank, says Manafort failed to disclose mortgages on his loan application.
Mr Brennan said there also were other "red flags" that made Mr Manafort's loan application look shaky.
The testimony, on the 10th day of Manafort's financial fraud trial, comes as the prosecution is expected to rest its case later Monday.
As its final witness on Monday, the prosecution recalled a Treasury Department agent who testified that Manafort's consulting companies did not disclose their foreign bank accounts, as is required by law, in addition to him failing to do so personally.
Asked again why the loans were ultimately approved, Brennan said that Calk told bank employees in an email that he wanted the loans approved.
Still, the proceedings have drawn President Donald Trump's attention - and tweets - as he works to undermine the standing of the Mueller investigation in the public square. Gates struck a plea deal with prosecutors and provided much of the drama of the trial so far. During testimony, Gates was forced to admit embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from Manafort and conducting an extramarital affair.
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"The big question is, did the government do enough to show wilfulness", said Wu, who is no longer involved in the case and said he was speaking from knowledge of the publicly available evidence.
Brennan even rated one loan for Manafort risky but doable in a memorandum used by regulators and the bank.
It was unclear if Ellis will make public the reason behind an unexpected recess on Friday that lasted into the midafternoon and included a lengthy discussion with the lawyers and judge at the bench, the contents of which remain under seal.
A Chicago-based bank lost $11.8 million because it had to write off a significant portion of two loans it made to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
The prosecution pressed Ellis to alter instructions about comments the judge had made to emphasize that they should not be considered by the jury.
Manafort, 69, is charged with a number of financial crimes including bank fraud and money laundering.
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