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.
Mr. Gates admitted over three days to various crimes, including some he said he committed with Mr. Manafort and others he carried out on his own.
Manafort's political work included advising Viktor Yanukovich on policy after he won the Ukrainian presidency, Gates said.
Prosecutor Greg Andres objected to the question before Gates could answer.
"Yes, I made a decision", Gates said.
Downing's questions to Gates about affairs and embezzlement cut to the heart of the defense's case trying to undermine Gates' credibility with jury and pin the blame on Gates for Manafort's alleged crimes.
But Kevin Downing, an attorney representing Manafort, got in one final swipe at Gates before his testimony came to an end.
Manafort, Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, is charged with 18 counts of tax and banking crimes, and has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Gates had testified about one five-month affair with a paramour in London almost a decade ago, but had never been directly questioned on the stand about whether he'd had any other sexual relationships.
Gates testified on Tuesday that he once had an extramarital affair that involved maintaining a London apartment. Trump often boasts that he hires "the best people", and the sixth day of the trial showcased two people who worked for him, one who allegedly tried to use his influence in Trump's circle to boost someone he had a sketchy financial relationship with, and another who admitted under oath that he may have stolen money from Trump's inaugural committee.
Russian spy detected working at US Embassy in Moscow
In this December 2016 photo, Russian policemen stand guard in front of the US Embassy in Moscow. Punitive action, however, was not taken as the matter was being probed.
Meanwhile, Downing on Wednesday afternoon tried to draw the jury's attention back to admissions by Gates that he had embezzled funds from Manafort, asking Welch if his client could claim a business embezzlement deduction.
Part of that record were several emails Manafort sent Gates. He agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors and has pleaded guilty to conspiracy and lying to the FBI.
U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III has made headlines in recent days for his clashes with the prosecutors, including pressing them on the speed and merits of the prosecution and suggesting one prosecutor was so discouraged he was crying in the courtroom.
Gates faces more cross-examination Wednesday in federal court in Alexandria, Va. Manafort is accused of overseeing an elaborate offshore tax-evasion and bank fraud scheme, and Gates has offered a first-hand account of its workings.
The tough questioning of Gates came after he spent hours telling jurors how he disguised millions of dollars in foreign income as loans in order to lower Manafort's tax bill.
He told jurors he embezzled from Mr Manafort by filing false expense reports. Referring to Manafort's pretrial confinement, Trump asked whether Manafort was being treated worse than Al Capone. Gates said he was responsible for collecting all relevant documents for the loan applications.
Although questions tied to the Trump campaign have been severely limited at trial, Manafort remains a central figure in the broader inquiry into the Trump campaign's dealings with Russia, including a 2016 Trump Tower meeting at which Russians promised "dirt" on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and his role in watering down the 2016 Republican Party platform position on Ukraine.
"I am here to tell the truth and to take responsibility for my actions".
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?"