U.S. President Donald Trump's one-time campaign aide Rick Gates testified for a third day on Wednesday at the trial of his former boss Paul Manafort, whose lawyers chipped away at his credibility for admitting he lied and stole money.
During questioning by prosecutors on Tuesday, Gates said that Manafort had emailed him in late 2016 asking for the incoming Trump administration to consider tapping Calk for Secretary of the Army.
Wednesday's drama comes after Gates spent large chunks of Monday and Tuesday on the stand detailing a long list of crimes he and Manafort committed, sometimes together, sometimes separately.
HuffPost Illustration/Getty Images Paul Manafort. Downing asked Gates Tuesday, a rhetorical question everyone present at the trial with any courtroom experience saw coming a mile away. The courtroom's overhead noise machine was turned on so that Gates, the jury and the public in the room couldn't hear what they said.
Judge T.S. Ellis III has subjected the prosecution team to repeated tongue-lashings over the pace of their questioning, the massive trove of their evidence and even their facial expressions during bench conferences.
"Do you remember telling the office of the special counsel you actually engaged in four extramarital affairs?"
Ellis had heatedly confronted prosecutor Uzo Asonye, saying he hadn't authorized Welch to watch the entirety of the trial.
Gates, who is 46 and married, admitted: "There was a period in my life, about 10 years ago, when I had a relationship, yes".
HuffPost Illustration/Getty Images Rick Gates.
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.
Gates finally admitted that he had provided false information prior to striking a plea agreement.
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Sahar al-Faifi, who has covered her face since she was 14, said that negative rhetoric is making Muslim women feel "unsafe". That step would mean he could not represent the party, and would be barred from standing in a future leadership contest.
Prosecutors are nearing the end of their case against Manafort.
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.
But the defense team has taken on the the daunting task of convincing jurors that Gates, who was in constant communication with Manafort and carrying out his wishes, is an unreliable witness who had simply gone rogue and independently made a decision to boost his boss' personal income over a period of several years.
By that time, Gates was working on Trump's inaugural committee.
Morgan Magionos used her own charts along with financial and tax records and emails to buttress the government's detailed accounting of how the former Trump campaign chairman bankrolled an extravagant lifestyle without reporting hidden millions to the government.
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".
Prosecutors called Morgan Magionos, an Federal Bureau of Investigation forensic accountant, as the next witness to testify.
Prosecutor Greg Andres pointed out he had created a "loan forgiveness letter between Mr. Manafort and Mr. Manafort".
Welch testified that Manafort used his foreign income for purchases that included a yacht, horseback riding, Italian villa rental and cosmetic dentistry. But Trump has shown interest in the proceedings, tweeting support for Manafort and suggesting he has been treated worse than gangster Al Capone.
But while the trial has only vaguely touched on the Trump campaign directly, and the core allegations of the indictment don't have much of anything to do with Trump, the trial has raised a key unanswered question about why Manafort agreed to join the Trump campaign for free.