Government rests in ex-Trump campaign chief Manafort's fraud trial

Manafort in his booking

Manafort in his booking

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III made the announcement after Manafort rested his case without calling witnesses or presenting evidence.

The judge has repeatedly expressed skepticism over points raised by the government, to the frustration of prosecutors, who have urged him not to misstate facts or law in the jury's presence.

The testimony, on the 10th day of Mr Manafort's financial fraud trial, comes as the prosecution is expected to rest its case later on Monday.

Ellis also closed the courtroom from the public while he heard arguments on a sealed motion filed by Manafort's team. Neither side gave any indication what the issue was, but the judge indicated that it would be revealed after the trial was over. Then, after his money in Ukraine dried up, they allege he defrauded banks by lying about his income on loan applications.

Manafort is accused of fraudulently obtaining the loans by inflating his income and concealing other financial information. His main client, former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, had fled the country in 2014, and Manafort had not found new clients, according to witnesses. He says he also found several "inconsistencies" in the amount of income Manafort reported for his business.

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The testimony from James Brennan, a vice president at Federal Savings Bank, represented the capstone to the prosecution's case that has featured 28 witnesses over 10 days here.

The bank knew and documented the financial red flags that came with Manafort's loan applications - from hidden debt to shaky professional income.

The defense has not admitted a quid pro quo agreement between Calk and Manafort, though they have thrown TFSB under the bus, saying that it was the bank's responsibility to properly vet whether or not Manafort's finances should have qualified him for the loans to begin with.

The White House and Trump himself have minimized Manafort as a short-timer in their political bubble.

CEO Stephen Calk pushed through the loans, Brennan said. Prosecutors said Calk unsuccessfully sought a larger role in the Trump administration. A rating of 1 is considered the highest, most stable loan, while ratings less than 4 wouldn't be approved. But in fact, Mr Brennan testified, Mr Manafort was in default for a $5.7m loan he had taken out for a Los Angeles property and had also stopped paying on a $6.5m loan on a NY residence.

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Westling quickly tried to qualify Brennan's testimony, hinting that TFSB was actively pursuing the collateral - much of which comprised some of Manafort's properties - but that the government had frozen those assets.

Manafort lawyer Kevin Downing said Manafort's legal team chose not to mount a defense because US prosecutors had not met the legal bar needed to prove their case.

One of Manafort's lawyers, Thomas Zehnle, said they plan to tell the jury that Manafort had no obligation to report foreign bank accounts in the years he owned only 50 percent of his firm, Davis Manafort International. They will have the opportunity to call witnesses, although it's unclear whether they might. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges and denies any wrongdoing.

Rod Rosenstein would be nominated and confirmed to the deputy AG job in early 2017 - and now oversees Mueller and the Russian Federation investigation.

Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort arrives for a hearing at the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse on May 23, 2018 in Washington, DC.

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