Still, that testimony has provided jurors with a damning account as Gates testified that he and Manafort knew they were committing crimes for years. Gates also provided the first witness testimony that overlaps with Trump's presidential campaign.
After hours of cross-examination of the prosecution's star witness, Manafort's lawyer offered this assessment: "Mr. Manafort had a great day". Manafort on Tuesday was seen with his arms folded, staring daggers as his former deputy testified as part of a plea deal.
And there were Manafort's emails, which prosecutors showed to the courtroom.
During the testimony, Manafort did not stare Gates down as he did Monday.
"WTF", Mr Manafort wrote in response, "How could I be blindsided like this". "How could I be blindsided like this" on his high tax bill.
"The circles are now squared", Gates told Manafort in 2016.
It's not over until the singer sings some more.
"It's not a secret life", Gates said.
Ellis then interjected to ask Gates if he had any idea how much time he was facing for the dropped charges.
Rick Gates, who served as a right-hand man to Manafort in his political consulting business for a decade, acknowledged maintaining a flat in London for the affair, inflating expense reports and a long list of other misdeeds.
In October 2016, for instance, Gates sent Manafort DMP's profit and loss statement (P&L) from January 1 through June 30 of that year, emails introduced in court Tuesday show. The pair avoided all eye contact.
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Gates then admitted to having "another relationship" years ago, in which he cheated on his wife with a mistress in London.
By way of explanation, Gates said he had been living beyond his means at the time he stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from Manafort. I'm taking responsibility for it.
Later, Gates spoke directly to the 16 assembled jurors: "I'm here to tell the truth". Regarding a trading company Manafort had started with a partner in 2011, he asked with deep scepticism: "You're asking the jury to believe Mr Manafort authorised another US$250,000 as a bonus?"
Paul Manafort (L), former campaign chairman for U.S. President Donald Trump, in Washington, DC, U.S., December 11, 2017, and Rick Gates, former campaign aide to Trump, in Washington, U.S., December 11, 2017 are pictured in this combination photograph. In short, they said they wanted to pin it all on the underling.
Ahead of that barrage, Gates has implicated himself in a vast amount of criminal conduct on the stand, an apparent strategic decision by prosecutors as they hope to take some of the steam out of the defense's questioning.
For now, the defense team has largely left in tact the possibility that Manafort engaged in the crimes alongside Gates. Gates did not recall.
Both have been indicted as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Trump's campaign.
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".
Gates also testified on Tuesday how he and Manafort hid income earned for political work in Ukraine, explaining their efforts to set up companies in Cyprus so they could easily be paid by Ukranian businessman who held bank accounts there. And prosecutors flashed a note from a meeting Manafort and Gates had in 2013, showing that an unnamed Trump may have received Manafort's Yankees tickets.
It was while Downing was quizzing him more on these transactions that Gates appeared to struggle to remember which expenses were legitimate, leading to Downing's remark that Gates "seemed to have ideal recollection" prior to cross-examination.
Employees from Federal Savings Bank are expected to testify later this week.