Paul Manafort’s longtime associate delivered devastating testimony this afternoon.  Rick Gates was on the stand for the at the beginning of week two of the former Trump campaign chairman’s trial.  From The New York Times:

  • Asked by prosecutors whether he was involved in any criminal activity with Mr. Manafort, Mr. Gates responded, “Yes.”
  • Mr. Gates also testified that he and Mr. Manafort held 15 foreign bank accounts that were not disclosed to the federal government. Mr. Gates said the required financial filings were not submitted “at Mr. Manafort’s direction.”

Vox adds:

“Perhaps more damagingly for him, Gates admitted that he embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars from those accounts without Manafort’s knowledge — something that the defense team has signaled they will seize on as they attempt to discredit him. (The trial’s proceedings concluded for the day before the defense got to cross-examine Gates — that will likely happen tomorrow.)”

The Washington Post published a timeline from the courtroom that read, in part:

“Rick Gates met with investigators 20 times, he testified Monday, and made the government aware of a bevy of his own wrongdoing — including that he had inflated expense reports to steal from his former business partner.

‘I made the government aware’ of that conduct, he testified.

While Gates will be a key witness against Paul Manafort, his early testimony was just as much a reckoning of his own wrongdoing. He admitted that he was a party not only to what he said was Manafort’s fraud, but that he committed wrongdoing that was all his own — in one instance even violating the terms of his supervised release, when he missed an 11 p.m. curfew by 15 minutes.”

The case is being prosecuted by special counsel Robert Mueller’s office.  According to courtroom witnesses, Manafort stared at Gates on the stand while Gates looked down or straight ahead but never at the defendant.