Gates says Manafort told him to be truthful to Federal Bureau of Investigation

Gates denied Downing's suggestion he used money stolen from Manafort's Cypriot accounts to pay for a trip to Las Vegas, audio equipment and groceries from a Whole Foods in Virginia.

The interview was part of an FBI investigation that sought to recover assets looted from the Ukrainian government under the rule of former President Viktor Yanukovych.

Gates was indicted alongside Manafort in October, but he later pleaded guilty to lesser charges of conspiracy against the US and lying to the FBI as part of a deal with federal prosecutors.

After Downing asked whether Gates told the special counsel about four extramarital affairs, the prosecutors quickly objected on the basis of relevance.

Manafort's lawyers are determined to impugn the credibility of Gates, who pleaded guilty in Mueller's investigation and agreed to cooperate with investigators by testifying in the financial fraud trial.

"This jury is just supposed to believe you after all the lies that you've told and the fraud you've committed?" asked Downing. It's hung much of its strategy on carving away at what Gates says.

He scoffed at the idea that Gates had repented for his actions, noting that prosecutors have said they won't oppose his bid for probation and getting him to acknowledge he had not repaid the money he had taken from Manafort. Oh, and he says he did it all "at the direction of Mr. Manafort". Downing pressed him on the specifics of their business relationship: which payments to Gates were authorised and which were not.

The tough questioning of Gates came after he spent hours telling jurors how he disguised millions of dollars in foreign income as loans in order to lower Manafort's tax bill.

Under questioning by prosecutor Greg Andres, Gates walked the six-man, six-woman jury through the foreign bank accounts used by Manafort to receive payments from Ukrainian politicians - money that was not reported to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

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But during cross-examination on Tuesday, the defense painted Gates as living a "secret life" in London and accused him of embezzling money from Manafort's foreign accounts at center of the trial to indulge in an extramarital affair in the United Kingdom.

Jurors saw emails from Manafort imploring Gates to help a banker, Stephen Calk, make inroads into the campaign, inauguration and administration.

"I'm here to tell the truth", Gates shot back.

Gates implicated himself in broad criminal conduct on the stand, an apparent strategic decision by prosecutors to take some of the steam out of defense questioning.

It's a practice he has admitted to doing to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars from Manafort, and under pressure from Downing, he agreed that it could be called embezzlement.

Those who dealt with Manafort's taxes also testified that even though they asked Manafort whether he maintained any bank accounts overseas, he told them no.

"They were documented as loans, but in reality they were funds moving between the accounts". Prosecutors had previously said that Manafort's interactions with Calk were the only part of the trial expected to overlap with his Trump campaign role. Manafort's trial is the first on charges brought by Mueller's office, who is also investigating whether Trump campaign members coordinated with Russian officials.

Although the allegations of collusion between Donald Trump and Russian Federation are not at issue in this trial, any significant blows to the government's case are likely be seized on by the president's defenders, including conservative media, to support his contention that Mueller's investigation is a "rigged witch-hunt". He has pleaded not guilty to the charges. Gates, Manafort's longtime business partner and Trump's deputy campaign chairman, was working on the transition team and the inauguration.

The transfers would usually occur when Manafort made requests for Gates to initiate them-often through a list of to-be-sent wire transfers provided by Manafort to Gates via email. "How could I be blindsided like this".

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