ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Paul Manafort’s defence rested its case Tuesday with out calling any witnesses within the former Trump marketing campaign chairman’s tax evasion and fraud trial. Manafort himself selected to not testify.
The choice by Manafort’s lawyer, Kevin Downing, to not name witnesses clears the best way for the jury to listen to closing arguments within the trial, now in its third week.
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Manafort is accused of hiding hundreds of thousands of in revenue he acquired advising Ukrainian politicians. The defence has tried responsible Manafort’s monetary errors on his former assistant, Richard Gates. Defence attorneys have referred to as Gates a liar, philanderer and embezzler as they’ve sought to undermine his testimony.
Closing arguments within the case are scheduled for Wednesday morning.
Requested by Choose T.S. Ellis III whether or not he wished to testify in his defence, Manafort responded: “No, sir.” The choice got here after a greater than two-hour listening to that was closed from the general public.
The decide has not given any rationalization for the sealed continuing, solely noting transcript of it might turn out to be public after Manafort’s case concludes.
Manafort’s determination to not testify and to not name witnesses got here after Ellis rejected a defence movement that the case needs to be dismissed on grounds the federal government failed to satisfy its burden of proof. Manafort’s legal professionals requested the decide to toss out all the costs towards him, however they targeted specifically on 4 bank-fraud prices.
The federal government says Manafort hid a minimum of $16 million in revenue from the IRS between 2010 and 2014 by disguising the cash he earned advising politicians in Ukraine as loans and hiding it in overseas banks. Then, after his cash in Ukraine dried up, they allege he defrauded banks by mendacity about his revenue on mortgage purposes and concealing different monetary data, resembling mortgages.
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Manafort’s legal professionals argued that there is no such thing as a manner that one of many banks, Federal Financial savings Financial institution, might have been defrauded as a result of its chairman, Stephen Calk, knew full nicely that Manafort’s funds had been in disarray however authorised the mortgage to Manafort anyway. Witnesses testified at trial that Calk pushed the loans by way of as a result of he needed a submit within the Trump administration.
Ellis, in making his ruling, mentioned that the defence made a “important” argument, however in the end dominated the query “is a matter for the jury.”
Prosecutors rested their case on Monday, closing two weeks of testimony that depicted Manafort as utilizing the hundreds of thousands of hidden in offshore accounts to fund an opulent life-style – and later acquiring hundreds of thousands extra in financial institution loans beneath false pretenses.
The trial is the primary to emerge from particular counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, but it surely doesn’t relate to any allegations of Russian election interference or doable co-ordination with the Trump marketing campaign. Neither Manafort nor Gates have been charged in reference to their Trump marketing campaign work.
Nonetheless, the proceedings have drawn President Donald Trump’s consideration – and tweets – as he works to undermine the standing of the Mueller investigation within the public sq..
Trump has distanced himself from Manafort, who led the marketing campaign from Might to August 2016 – with Gates at his aspect. Gates struck a plea cope with prosecutors and offered a lot of the drama of the trial thus far.
READ MORE: Paul Manafort orchestrated multimillion-dollar conspiracy to evade U.S. tax, banking legal guidelines, prosecutors say
Gates mentioned he helped Manafort commit crimes in an effort to decrease his tax invoice and fund his lavish life-style. Throughout testimony, Gates was compelled to confess embezzling lots of of hundreds of from Manafort and conducting an extramarital affair.
The prosecution has launched a trove of documentary proof as they’ve sought to show Manafort dedicated 18 separate prison counts. Alongside the best way, they’ve not solely confronted an aggressive defence group however tongue-lashings from the decide, who pushed the federal government to hurry up its case.