Published: Wed, August 15, 2018
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

Prosecutors cast Manafort as a serial liar in closing remarks

Prosecutors cast Manafort as a serial liar in closing remarks

Prosecutors have spent the last two and half weeks trying to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Manafort hid from the IRS millions he earned from a lucrative career as a political consultant in Ukraine in 31 overseas accounts and filed false documents to obtain bank loans when the work and ultimately the money dried up.

On Wednesday, Manafort, wearing a blue suit and blue shirt, rose, along with everyone else on the courtroom as jurors took their seats.

Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Andres gave his closing statement in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, where Manafort is on trial on tax and bank fraud charges, along with failing to disclose foreign bank accounts.

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.

Lawyers for Paul Manafort rested his defense Tuesday without calling any witnesses or having him testify to his fraud trial.

While several others charged in the investigation, including former Manafort aide Richard Gates, have pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate in the Mueller probe, Manafort has maintained his innocence. Manafort's attorneys grilled Gates on the admissions in attempt to discredit him as a witness.

Manafort, he said, is "not above the law".

On Monday, the vice president of Federal Savings Bank, Jim Brennan, testified he knew Manafort lied about his finances when he applied for $16 million in loans from the bank. Downing also said the defense team was feeling "confident" heading into Wednesday's closing remarks.

Ellis, in making his ruling, said the defense made a "significant" argument, but that the decision was "an issue for the jury" to decide.

The prosecution wrapped up on Monday and called up more than two dozen people to testify. Gates struck a plea deal with prosecutors and has provided much of the drama of the trial so far.

The 69-year-old faces 18 counts related to tax and bank fraud. During testimony, Gates was also forced to admit embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from Manafort and conducting an extramarital affair.

Manafort's legal team rested its case on Tuesday, setting the stage for closing arguments before the judge hands the case to jurors for a verdict.

At one point in the discussion, Ellis asked prosecutors whether they thought he had ever interjected his own opinions.

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