Ex-federal prosecutor: I've never seen more ‘greed, lies and manipulation’ than in Manafort trial

A former federal prosecutor said he’s never seen “more greed, lies and manipulation” than he has witnessed in the tax fraud trial of ex-Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortUkraine could badly damage both Donald Trump and the Democrats Lewandowski refuses to say whether Trump has offered him a pardon Democrats return to a battered Trump MORE.

Gene Rossi, who worked in the Justice Department for nearly three decades, told the hosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Monday that Manafort’s trial was “unbelievable.”

“I have never seen more greed, lies and manipulation in a tax trial than I have seen in this one,” Rossi said. “It is off the charts. On a scale of one to 10, on greed — a 13. Lies, 11. Manipulation, 12. It is unbelievable.”

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Rossi, a Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor in Virginia in 2017 who has made a number of contributions to Democratic candidates in the past, praised the prosecutors, saying their handling of star witness and former Manafort associate Richard Gates was “outstanding.”

“I thought Rick Gates’s direct exam by the prosecutor was outstanding — outstanding,” Rossi said. “He corroborated everything that the government theory is asking a jury to believe.”

Gates testified under oath last week that he helped Manafort file fraudulent tax returns and conceal overseas accounts.

“Did you commit crimes with Mr. Manafort?” prosecutor Greg Andres asked.

“Yes,” Gates replied.

Federal prosecutors were expected to call their final witnesses in the case on Friday but were delayed for several hours after Judge T.S. Ellis III met with the lawyers on both sides — pushing the trial into its third week.

Manafort is facing 18 counts of alleged bank and tax fraud, allegations were uncovered by special counsel Robert Mueller’s team, which is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, including whether Moscow colluded with members of the Trump campaign.

The charges against Manafort are not tied to his work on the Trump campaign, and some of the alleged crimes predate the election by several years.