Napolitano: Judge in Manafort Trial Showing an 'Extraordinary Bias' Against the Government

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Gates, who testified Monday and returned to the witness stand Tuesday, detailed years of alleged lawbreaking at Manafort's political firm and admitted to stealing money from secret overseas bank accounts.

Paul Manafort's former accountant was sacked from a Virginia firm after she told the court she was aware that Manafort's tax returns contained false information. The crimes Manafort allegedly committed do not have bearing on that central question, but they were uncovered in the course of the special counsel investigation; this is the first trial resulting from Mueller's probe.

Mr Gates implicated himself in broad criminal conduct on the stand, an apparent strategic decision by prosecutors to take some of the steam out of defence questioning.

Also on Wednesday, an Federal Bureau of Investigation forensic accountant, Morgan Magionos, told jurors bank records from Cyprus, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the United Kingdom revealed the accounts were connected to Manafort and his associates.

Gates also admitted, however, that the same tricks he used to help doctor and falsify records for Manafort he also deployed for his own personal gain in order to covertly wire funds out of Manafort's offshore accounts to line his own pockets. He poked fun at himself Wednesday as he haggled with the attorneys for 20 minutes over the number and type of charts prosecutors could present during the testimony of the Federal Bureau of Investigation forensic accountant.

Prosecutors relied on Gates to provide first-hand support of the accusations against Manafort.

Welch said he arrived at the $16.5 million figure based on an accounting method used by Manafort.

In blistering questioning, a defense lawyer accused the protege of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort of being immersed in "so many lies" he can't remember them all, as he tried to undermine the credibility of the government's star witness in Manafort's fraud trial.

"Those appear to be substantially different, don't they?" defense attorney Richard Westling asked Magionos, showing her Manafort's signatures on a loan application to the Bank of California and one of the foreign banking documents.

Gates explained that Manafort's financial difficulties worsened in 2014, when Viktor Yanukovych was no longer in power and the Party of Regions disintegrated.

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"You and I were talking during the break, the jury can't be happy with this judge because of the snide, snarky comments", he added to Perino.

"I do somehow think he has gotten his back up personally about Greg Andres".

Mr Gates said he did, but the defence lawyer wasn't satisfied.

Wednesday's testimony was focused on the tax fraud allegations against Paul Manafort.

Gates, 46, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy and is cooperating with the government as it prosecutes Manafort for allegedly evading U.S. taxes on tens of millions of dollars earned from political consulting work they did together in Ukraine from 2006 to 2014. They made a mistake when they confirmed me. Prosecutors say they hope to reach their finale by Friday.

"I would be surprised, given what's occurred in the Manafort trial, if Judge Ellis didn't issue this relatively standard instruction", Abramson said.

Ellis has repeatedly pushed prosecutors to whittle down their case to save time.

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 46-year-old, who has pleaded guilty to conspiracy and is cooperating with the government, began the day by describing how he helped Manafort evade U.S. taxes on millions of dollars earned from political consulting work they did in Ukraine.

"I'm here to tell the truth and take responsibility for my actions", Gates said in response to a question from Downing about his trustworthiness.

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