Prosecution rests in Manafort trial

Members of the defense team for Paul Manafort, including Kevin Downing, left, Richard Westling, and Thomas Zehnle, walk to federal court as the trial of the former Trump campaign chairman continues, in Alexandria, Va., on Monday,

ALEXANDRIA, Va. • Prosecutors on Monday rested their tax evasion and bank fraud case in the trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, closing two weeks of testimony that depicted him as using millions of dollars hidden in offshore accounts to fund a luxurious lifestyle — and later obtaining millions more in bank loans under false pretenses.

The trial of the longtime Washington operator now turns to Manafort’s defense team, which has so far blamed any wrongdoing on Rick Gates, the former Manafort protege who testified he and his former boss committed crimes together for years. Defense attorneys have called Gates a liar, philanderer and embezzler as they’ve sought to undermine his testimony. Manafort’s lawyers have not yet said whether they will call any witnesses or present other evidence in the case. They will have to disclose that information Tuesday as the case reaches its final stages.

The trial is the first to emerge from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, but it does not relate to any allegations of Russian election interference or possible coordination with the Trump campaign. Neither Manafort nor Gates have been charged in connection with their Trump campaign work.

Still, the proceedings have drawn President Donald Trump’s attention — and tweets — as he works to undermine the standing of the Mueller investigation in the public square. Trump has distanced himself from Manafort, who led the campaign from May to August 2016 — with Gates at his side. Gates struck a plea deal with prosecutors and provided much of the drama of the trial so far.

The government says Manafort hid at least $16 million in income from the IRS between 2010 and 2014 by disguising money he earned advising politicians in Ukraine as loans and hiding it in foreign banks. Then, after his money in Ukraine dried up, they allege he defrauded banks by lying about his income on loan applications and concealing other financial information, such as mortgages.

Gates said he helped Manafort commit crimes in an effort to lower his tax bill and fund his lavish lifestyle. During testimony, Gates admitted to embezzling and conducting an extramarital affair.

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