Manafort's defense rests after calling no witnesses

Banker testifies after unexplained recess

Prosecution rests case against Paul Manafort

Prosecutors on Monday rested their tax evasion and bank fraud case in the trial of Paul Manafort, the former campaign chairman for U.S. President Donald Trump.

James Brennan, a vice president at Federal Savings Bank, which issued two loans worth a total of $16 million, testified Monday that Manafort didn't declare on his applications that he had mortgages on two properties in NY - information that would have made it harder for him to secure a loan. During testimony, Gates was forced to admit embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from Manafort and conducting an extramarital affair.

On his way out of the courthouse, defense attorney Kevin Downing said that the defense rested its case because "the government has not met its burden of proof".

James Brennan, a vice president at Federal Savings Bank, says Manafort failed to disclose mortgages on his loan application. The trial, which is expected to begin in mid-September, will be tried by some of the same prosecutors handling the current case in Northern Virginia. But Brennan says that rejection was overruled by Federal Savings Bank chairman Stephen Calk.

Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort arrives for arraignment on a third superseding indictment against him by Special Counsel Robert Mueller on charges of witness tampering, at U.S. District Court in Washington, U.S., June 15, 2018. On the forms, Manafort claimed more than $4 million income for his business in 2015, but other documents showed he made less than $400,000, Brennan testified.

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.

Manafort's lawyers will then face a choice: call their own witnesses or hope the prosecution's case is not strong enough to outweigh defence attacks on the credibility of Rick Gates and the testimony of more than two dozen other witnesses.

The email detailed some of "the issues we were having" regarding one of Manafort's loan applications, Brennan said.

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The FBI and Colorado Bureau of Investigation have also been investigating the case. "It was tearing me apart last night", he said. When asked if they'd had an argument before she vanished, he said: "It wasn't an argument it was an emotional conversation".

"If I had my recommendation. the loan would not be made", said.

The jury's decision ultimately comes down to whether they believe that Manafort knew he was supposed to file FBARs for his income from DMP and DMP International and that he willfully hid millions of dollars in income overseas in accounts he did not report.

Defence attorneys have so far blamed any wrongdoing on Rick Gates, Manafort's former protege, who testified August 6.

Some legal experts have speculated that it may have been triggered by a problem with the jury after Ellis reminded jurors in unusual detail and multiple times about the defendant's presumed innocence, the need to "keep an open mind" about the trial and not to talk to anyone about the case. Along the way, they've not only faced an aggressive defense team but tongue-lashings from the judge, who pushed the government to speed up its case.

Brennan said the Chicago-based bank lost $11.8 million because it had to write off a significant portion of two loans it made to Manafort.

Liss's testimony came after Manafort's attorneys signalled they intend to argue that the offshore accounts that he used to pay for millions in personal expenses, such as fancy suits, landscaping, rugs and homes, were actually controlled by the company and not him personally.

At one point, Judge Ellis left the courtroom and headed toward the jury room.

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