Paul Manafort's attorney Kevin Downing on Wednesday asked whether longtime Manafort deputy Rick Gates had four extramarital affairs - and not just one overseas 10 years ago - implying that Gates might have lied to special counsel Robert Mueller's team and could put his plea deal in jeopardy.
According to Gates, Manafort, who had by then left the campaign, asked Gates in various ways to use his position on Trump's team to do favors for Stephen Calk, a banker who had loaned Manafort millions of dollars - loans that Mueller's team alleges were consummated under false pretenses. Gates said he was responsible for collecting all relevant documents for the loan applications.
"No doubt at all", Gates said.
Rick Gates, the former business partner of Paul Manafort, testified Tuesday that he helped Manafort hide payments from offshore accounts. There are eight awaiting souls ready to share their stories about Manafort - not including those who the defense attorneys plan to call. They have tried several times to impugn his credibility before the jury.
Rick Gates, under cross examination at the tax evasion and bank fraud trial of his former boss Paul Manafort, admitted that he had "another relationship" involving first-class flights and luxury hotels, but denied these were funded with money embezzled from Manafort.
Gates, who has pleaded guilty to a federal crime, testified that he organized fraudulent paperwork both with and without Manafort's knowledge. But prosecutors dropped charges against Gates after the former business partner took a plea deal and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors. But Trump has shown interest in the proceedings, tweeting support for Manafort and suggesting he has been treated worse than gangster Al Capone.
Although the allegations of collusion between Donald Trump and Russian Federation are not at issue in this trial, any significant blows to the government's case are likely be seized on by the president's defenders, including conservative media, to support his contention that Mueller's investigation is a "rigged witch-hunt".
He told jurors how he disguised millions of dollars in foreign income as loans in order to lower Mr Manafort's tax bill. Welch said the monetary figure was based on an accounting method used by Manafort.
Gates told the court in Alexandria, Virginia, that he had met with government lawyer Greg Andres and Federal Bureau of Investigation agents 20 times and been told only to tell the truth, without any guarantee that he will be spared prison. And the defense has tried to pin much of the blame for the financial crimes on him.
In detailed testimony, Gates has walked prosecutors through the step-by-step process on how he and Manafort doctored and backdated documents.
Gates, 46, is expected to be cross-examined for about another hour by Manafort's attorney Kevin Downing before prosecutors get a second chance to try and undo some of the possibly damaging testimony he gave during their redirect. "I thought he was needlessly evasive and argumentative", said Barbara McQuade, a former U.S. Attorney in MI who has been watching the trial and said she observed jurors reacting with negative body language as he testified.
Ellis, known for his courtroom humor and occasional scolding of lawyers, has set strict boundaries on Manafort's trial.
Prosecutor Greg Andres pointed out that he had created a "loan forgiveness letter between Mr. Manafort and Mr. Manafort". "I already admitted on the record that I took unauthorised funds from 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.
Gates laying out a roadmap on how he and Manafort allegedly dodged US taxes. after admitting Monday they committed numerous crimes as business partners.
Gates finally admitted that he had provided false information prior to striking a plea agreement. "You told me you were on top of this", he wrote Gates in April 2015.