Lawyers to begin closing arguments in explosive Manafort trial AFP

This Aug. 7 2018 courtroom sketch depicts Rick Gates right testifying during questioning in the bank fraud and tax evasion trial of Paul Manafort at federal court in Alexandria Va. U.S. district Judge T.S. Ellis III presides at top right. Gates ackno

Defense rests in Manafort case, ex-Trump campaign chairman not called to stand

Jared Kushner - and a two-word email he authored in response to Paul Manafort on help getting a banker a job in the new administration - are now part of the body of evidence federal prosecutors have built in their case against the former Trump campaign chairman.

Lawyers for President Trump's former campaign chairman said they won't call any witnesses.

USA prosecutors on Monday rested their case against Manafort after 10 days of testimony alleging he evaded taxes and defrauded banks.

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You may recall that both the judge and Manafort's defense warmed to the idea that Manafort couldn't have defrauded the bank if the man who approved the loan knew Manafort's "representations were false" at the time anyway.

The defense for Manafort rested Tuesday without calling any witnesses.

Ellis on Tuesday also ruled against the defense's motion to acquit. They say that Manafort omitted foreign bank accounts and income from his tax returns, failed to file reports about his overseas accounts, and misled three banks to obtain $20 million in loans.

Closing arguments will begin next, followed by jury deliberations.

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Manafort has been charged with tax and bank fraud as well as failing to disclose foreign bank accounts.

On Tuesday, the defense rested its case after opting not to present any witnesses.

Manafort, right, and Rick Gates are shown while on Donald Trump's campaign team at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on July 17, 2016. Gates came on board the Trump campaign with Manafort and stayed for the duration of the campaign, later serving as deputy chairman for Trump's inaugural committee and then starting a pro-Trump PAC. Kevin Downing, Manafort's lawyer, simply said that "the defense rests".

The case is being prosecuted by the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 USA presidential election.

Manafort's legal team has blamed any wrongdoing on Rick Gates, the former Manafort protégé who testified he and his former boss committed crimes together for years.

On Monday, James Brennan, the vice president of The Federal Savings Bank, testified under immunity about a loan the bank gave Manafort.

During testimony, Gates was forced to admit to embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from Manafort and conducting an extramarital affair.

Prosecutors, who have been frustrated by Ellis' tendency to interrupt and chide prosecutors in front of the jury, sought stronger language to make clear that jurors do not need to adopt any opinions expressed by the judge.

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