Prosecution rests case in Paul Manafort fraud trial

Prosecutors on Monday rested their case against Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman accused of bank and tax fraud in a case brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team.

After a day of testimony from a bank executive, prosecutors announced in court: “The government rests.”

Manafort, 69, is facing tax evasion and bank fraud charges after being accused of hiding a “significant percentage” of income earned from his Ukrainian work from the IRS. He’s also been accused of fraudulently obtaining millions more in bank loans, including while he was working on the Trump campaign.

He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Last week, the prosecution’s star witness, Rick Gates – Manafort’s former business partner who struck a plea deal to cooperate with the government -- testified that he and Manafort committed bank and tax fraud together.


Earlier Monday, James Brennan, the vice president of The Federal Savings Bank, testified under immunity about a loan the bank gave Manafort.

According to Brennan’s testimony, the bank approved $16 million in loans to Manafort by CEO Stephen Calk, who was angling for a cabinet position in the Trump administration.

When asked by prosecutor Greg Andres if he thought the loan should have been be approved, Brennan replied, “My recommendation was the loan not be made.”

Brennan said the loan was approved because of Calk. He said the Federal Savings Bank ended up losing $11.8 million on the loan.

The prosecution had been expected to rest on Friday. But Judge T.S. Ellis III mysteriously delayed testimony in the case for five hours on Friday. The postponement was significant, as prosecutors had been hoping to finish calling witnesses Friday -- and Ellis has a reputation as a stickler for keeping trials moving.

It’s unclear whether the defense will put forward witnesses or evidence or if the trial will head toward closing arguments. Last week, Ellis said he was limiting closing arguments to two hours for each side.

Ellis is also expected to rule on several of motions Tuesday morning. One is a standard defense motion for acquittal, claiming the prosecution has failed to prove their case. The second is a sealed matter.

Manafort’s legal troubles won’t end with this trial. He is also facing charges in a separate federal court case in Washington, including conspiring against the United States, conspiring to launder money, failing to register as an agent of a foreign principal and providing false statements.

Fox News’ Lucas Tomlinson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.