Rick Gates testified he and Paul Manafort knowingly committed crimes

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Gates admitted that at Manafort's behest, they later created a loan agreement for Lyovochkin's payment, though no loan existed.

Renato Mariotti, a former federal prosecutor, said, however, that Gates' testimony will be key for the jury and their deliberations.

Gates also said he lied to accountants working on Manafort's taxes, to conceal foreign bank accounts that prosecutors say Manafort used to hide tens of millions of dollars from the IRS. Manafort, 69, meanwhile, is facing 18 felony charges that could carry a maximum of 30 years in prison. By that time, he had worked on several Republican presidential campaigns, including those of Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Bob Dole.

Manafort's defense has sought to blame Gates, described by witnesses as his "right-hand man", for any illegal conduct and accused him of embezzling millions of dollars from Manafort.

Paul Manafort's trial is the first criminal trial to come out of the Mueller investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, and alleged collusion by the Trump campaign.

Ellis tried to hurry the prosecution along throughout the day, at one point scolding Andres as he asked Gates about Manafort's political work in Ukraine.

Gates spent much of his testimony Monday corroborating that version of events, but on Tuesday, Manafort's defense team will get a chance to paint a different picture.

Rick Gates will continue his testimony today.

His testimony drew scores of people, who waited in line for hours outside the courthouse and then packed both the courtroom and an overflow room that contained a video feed of the proceedings. Laporta, who testified under an immunity deal with the government, acknowledged that she agreed under pressure from Gates to alter a tax document for one of Manafort's businesses. Rick Gates became the first member of the Trump campaign to publicly admit to crimes. Under questioning, Gates described how he and Manafort set up companies in Cyprus that concealed their identities and true ownership. Instead, he glanced up at him periodically but mostly stared intently at documents displayed for the jury on a screen in front of him.

"Judge, we've been at the heart", Andres began to reply before Ellis cut him off and scolded Andres for interrupting him.

As a sober Gates recited his testimony, Manafort reacted about the way you'd expect. By that standard, Ellis told the court, Charles Koch and George Soros would be considered oligarchs.

Rick Gates leaves a Washington courthouse in February.

Gates testified on Monday that wealthy Ukrainian businessmen paid Manafort millions of dollars for his political services through wire transfers to Cyprus-based accounts.

Gates testified that he and Manafort knew they were committing crimes for years, saying they had stashed money in foreign bank accounts and falsified bank loan documents.

Gates explained Tuesday how he and Manafort opened up bank accounts in Cyprus using "shelf" companies created and nominally maintained by a Cypriot law firm to make it more hard for law enforcement agencies to find a paper trail or fingerprints tying Manafort to the accounts.

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