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Defense rests its case in Manafort trial without calling any witnesses

Defense in Manafort trial rests its case
Defense in Paul Manafort trial rests its case 05:49

Lawyers for Paul Manafort said Tuesday they are resting their case in his bank fraud trial, without calling a single witness. 

That announcement on the 11th day of the trial for President Trump's former campaign chairman closed nearly two weeks of testimony prompted by the prosecution. Witnesses depicted the former Trump campaign chairman as using millions of dollars hidden in offshore accounts to fund a luxurious lifestyle — and later obtaining millions more in bank loans under false pretenses. Judge T.S. Ellis denied a motion by the defense to dismiss some of the charges pertaining to loans made to Manafort. Ellis has always said he wants the trial's conclusion to be as swift as possible. 

"Mr. Manafort just rested his case," Manafort lawyer Kevin Downing said outside the courthouse. "He did so because he and his legal team believe that the government has not meant it's burden of proof." 

Closing arguments are expected to take place Wednesday.

The defense centered much of its focus earlier in the trial on Rick Gates, the former Manafort protege who testified that he and his former boss committed financial crimes together for years. Defense attorneys called Gates a liar, philanderer and embezzler as they've sought to undermine his testimony.

The trial is the first to emerge from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, but it does not relate to any allegations of Russian election interference or possible coordination with the Trump campaign. Neither Manafort nor Gates have been charged in connection with their Trump campaign work.

Still, the proceedings have drawn Mr. Trump's attention — and tweets — as he works to undermine the standing of the Mueller investigation in the public square.

Mr. Trump has distanced himself from Manafort, who led the campaign from May to August 2016 — with Gates at his side. Gates struck a plea deal with prosecutors and provided much of the drama of the trial so far.

"Manafort has nothing to do with our campaign," Mr. Trump said in June. 

The government says Manafort hid at least $16 million in income from the IRS between 2010 and 2014 by disguising money he earned advising politicians in Ukraine as loans and hiding it in foreign banks. Then, after his money in Ukraine dried up, they allege he defrauded banks by lying about his income on loan applications and concealing other financial information, such as mortgages.

CBS News' Paula Reid, Bo Erickson and Robert Legare contributed to this report. 

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