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For instance, on Monday, after federal financial crimes specialist Paula Liss testified that neither Manafort nor his wife had reported foreign bank accounts to her agency, FinCEN, defense attorney Tom Zehnle asked her if a person owning less than 51 percent of a company would need to report those accounts.

What's Gates telling the court?

When Rick Gates took the stand in Paul Manafort's Virginia trial Monday, he quickly showed the power Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team can wield if they can get witnesses to "flip" against former friends and colleagues, a particular obsession of President Donald Trump's as the Russian Federation investigation grinds on.

Testifying under immunity, she was the first witness to admit she knew accounting manoeuvrers Mr Manafort and Mr Gates requested of her were wrong and could be crimes.

In court on Monday, Gates testified that he did steal from Manafort.

The jury had heard testimony on Friday and Monday from accountant Cynthia Laporta, who described how Manafort and Gates doctored financial statements and backdated loans. Manafort has pleaded not guilty to all charges. "He said that he was indicted with Paul Manafort on bank and tax fraud charges, and he is guilty of all those charges".

The government's star witness in the financial fraud trial of Paul Manafort testified today that he embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars from the former Trump campaign chairman - and told jurors he and Manafort committed crimes together. During that part of Gates' testimony, he said that he lied in a deposition - part of an unrelated case - about the private equity firm run by Manafort's consulting group.

The jury has heard how Manafort made tens of millions of dollars for work with pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine. Prosecutors still said they estimate having about three more hours of questions for Gates on Tuesday before cross examination can begin.

Rick Gates, a former campaign official for U.S. President Donald Trump, departs U.S. District Court after he and Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort attended a hearing in the first charges stemming from a special counsel investigation of possible Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election in Washington, U.S., October 30, 2017.

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Gates is also admitting to carrying out a vast scheme to hide millions of dollars in foreign bank accounts on Manafort's behalf.

Throughout his testimony, Gates largely avoided making eye contact with Manafort, who appeared to be watching him.

Instead, prosecutors called a different witness named Paula Liss.

"Let's get to the heart of the matter", Ellis growled. Lawyers then met privately with the judge for a bench conference.

The President is watching proceedings carefully as Mueller appears to be moving closer to his inner circle on multiple fronts and has complained that Manafort has been treated like a mobster - even as the White House has tried to open up some distance between Trump and his former campaign chairman.

But Ms Laporta's testimony raised the stakes for Mr Manafort, legal experts said.

The prosecution didn't confirm that Gates, a prosecution witness, would be next. Laporta said she had no indication that the loan from Deripaska had been paid off.

Manafort's defense has sought to blame Gates for any illegal conduct and accused him of embezzling millions of dollars from Manafort. When Robert Mueller began investigating Russian interference previous year, Manafort's questionable lobbying work - the sort of activity that has historically rarely been investigated in Washington - was put under a microscope, exposing him and his associates.


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