Gates admitted to a litany of crimes Tuesday as Downing, Manafort's lead defense attorney, hammered him for enriching himself on his boss's dime, executing tax evasion and bank fraud schemes of his own, and lying to the special counsel's investigators.
Gates, who is awaiting sentencing, told jurors that he embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars from Manafort by filing false expense reports.
Manafort's lawyer suggested that the affair - which included a London pad, first-class plane trips and luxury hotels - cost up to $3 million.
As he has repeatedly noted, President Donald Trump is not directly implicated in Paul Manafort's Virginia trial. Prosecutors allege that he failed to pay taxes on millions he made from his work for a Russia-friendly Ukrainian political party, then lied to get loans when the cash stopped coming in. "WTF", Manafort wrote to Gates in an email using a common shorthand to show exasperation after learning his projected tax payment for 2014.
The questioning is part of the Manafort defense strategy of presenting Gates to the jury as someone who lies and can not be trusted.
Rick Gates said under questioning from Manafort's lawyer Wednesday that he told Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and Justice Department lawyers about some of the offshore companies that contained millions of dollars in proceeds from their Ukrainian political work. This was a way to decrease Manafort's taxable income, added Gates, who did not report the money to Manafort's book-keeper or accountants. Gates also worked on the campaign.
Gates struck a deal with special counsel Robert Mueller in February, pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy against the United States and one count of making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
"I'm here to tell the truth", Gates replied.
Manafort and Gates were the first two people indicted in Mueller's investigation into potential ties between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign. Regarding a trading company Manafort had started with a partner in 2011, he asked with deep scepticism: "You're asking the jury to believe Mr Manafort authorised another US$250,000 as a bonus?"
While Gates endured his second day on the witness stand on Tuesday, he also recounted the many legally troubling falsehoods he resorted to while working alongside Manafort.
On Tuesday, Gates did connect one part of the bank fraud charges against Manafort to his role in the Trump campaign.
The 46-year-old former political consultant told jurors how Manafort asked for tickets to Trump's inauguration so he could give them to a banker involved in approving a loan at the center of his financial fraud trial. When Gates had prepared the transaction, he would run the final logistics by Manafort.
The charges largely predate the five months Manafort spent on Trump's campaign.
Sometimes, however, Gates said he would perform the same task without Manafort's direction or knowledge in order to embezzle funds from his employer.
When Trump asked Perlmutter, a friend and confidante, to help put together his government in December 2016, he agreed to be an outside adviser, selected veterans as his focus, and roped in two other friends, Palm Beach doctor Bruce Moskovitz and lawyer Marc Sherman, Arnsdorf says. But Trump has shown interest in the proceedings, tweeting support for Manafort.
Gates laying out a roadmap on how he and Manafort allegedly dodged US taxes. after admitting Monday they committed numerous crimes as business partners.
Under questioning, Gates said he may have submitted personal expenses for reimbursement by Trump's inaugural committee, which he helped operate. He frequently used the phrases "It's possible" and "I don't recall" as Downing challenged him about inconsistencies in testimony he gave to the special counsel's office.
The transfers would usually occur when Manafort made requests for Gates to initiate them-often through a list of to-be-sent wire transfers provided by Manafort to Gates via email.