Manafort won't testify in fraud trial

Manafort won't testify in fraud trial

Ex-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's lawyers have rested their case without calling any witnesses in his bank and tax fraud trial.

After two weeks of testimony and more than two dozen witnesses taking the stand as special counsel Robert Mueller's team laid out their case, the prosecution wrapped up their arguments Monday.

Kevin Downing unsuccessfully argued the prosecution hadn't met its burden of proof. U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III has already denied a motion by the defense to automatically acquit Manafort due to lack of evidence. Manafort's lawyers asked the judge to toss out all the charges against him, but they focused in particular on four bank-fraud charges.

Manafort's legal troubles won't end with this trial.

"Do you wish to testify?".

Closing arguments will begin next, followed by jury deliberations.

Manafort also faces a scheduled trial in the District of Columbia in September, where is charged with conspiracy to launder money, conspiracy against the United States, making false statements, and charges in connection with failing to register as a foreign agent even though he lobbied in the USA on behalf of the pro-Kremlin Ukrainian government of former president Viktor Yanukovych. Those witnesses said the bank chief executive officer, Stephen Calk, overrode red flags at the bank. If convicted, Manafort, 69, could spend the rest of his life in prison.

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Those witnesses included Manafort's former deputy, Rick Gates, who testified for two and a half days.

Manafort is facing 18-counts of tax and banking crimes, and has pleaded not guilty to each one. "They're relying on the jury to agree with them". Manafort himself chose not to testify.

Gates's testimony portrayed Manafort as a man who repeatedly lied to maintain a lifestyle of multimillion-dollar homes and expensive suits.

Patrick Cotter, a former federal prosecutor who now works in private practice in Chicago, said a conviction on at least some of the counts seemed likely, given the trial evidence. He said the Federal Savings Bank ended up losing $11.8 million on the loan. "The side with the best paper usually wins, and in this case, all the paper is on the prosecution's side, and there's nearly no paper on the defense side".

"The challenge for the government is to present the case to the jury as a very simple case". Speculation is that there is an issue of some kind with the jury, but the judge has shed no light on the matter in public settings.

Andrew McCarthy predicted the defense's closing argument in Paul Manafort's trial will hone in on one person: Rick Gates.

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