In a blistering back-and forth, Paul Manafort's lawyer suggested Tuesday that the star witness in the former Trump campaign chairman's financial fraud trial has told "so many lies" he can't remember all of them.
When Laporta and a colleague provided an assessment of how much tax Manafort would owe, Gates responded that Manafort didn't have the money to pay it. Did Gates, Andres asked, have any doubt that the special counsel would "rip up your plea agreement" if he lied on the stand?
Prosecutor Greg Andres addressed the defense lawyer's questions about whether the special counsel's office had coached Gates on how to testify. And the witness never did.
For the previous two days in court, Gates has testified that he and Manafort committed bank and tax fraud together.
In an email shown to the jury, Manafort, the former campaign chairman for President Donald Trump, wrote to Gates on November 24, 2016, "We need to discuss Steve Calk for Sec of Army".
But Ellis is acknowledging to jurors that he went overboard when criticizing prosecutors for allowing an expert witness to remain in the courtroom during the trial.
Paul Manafort's attorney Kevin Downing on Wednesday asked whether longtime Manafort deputy Rick Gates had four extramarital affairs - and not just one overseas 10 years ago - implying that Gates might have lied to special counsel Robert Mueller's team and could put his plea deal in jeopardy.
He also said he committed credit card and mortgage fraud, falsified a letter for a colleague involved in an investment deal and made false statements in a deposition at Mr Manafort's direction.
Downing also asked Gates if he had submitted personal expenses to President Donald Trump's inaugural committee.
Gates admitted to cheating on his wife about 10 years ago, but denied using company money to fund his affair, even as Downing sarcastically noted the apartment Gates kept in the United Kingdom: "A flat?" But on Tuesday, he denied using that money to finance his extramarital relationship, saying he used "bonus money" and "family money".
While the defense's strategy seems focused destroying Gates' trustworthiness in the eyes of the jury, prosecutors have sought to broaden their case so it's not completely reliant on him.
Defense attorney Kevin Downing had asked Gates, "Were you interviewed on several occasions about your time at the Trump campaign?"
"I think Gates was a very poor witness".
Ellis even took aim at journalists, threatening on Monday to kick reporters out of the courtroom if they continue being "disruptive".
Gates admitted to embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars - $3 million, Downing claimed, but could not definitively prove - from Manafort.
All three testified that Manafort and Gates failed to tell them about the foreign holdings in Cyprus.
The still-secret conversation occurred Tuesday afternoon in the middle of Gates' testimony against Manafort, who served as Trump's campaign chairman in 2016. "In reality, it was basically money moving between accounts", Gates said.
Gates, who pleaded guilty to charges in February and is cooperating on the possibility of a reduced sentence, has testified that he helped Manafort falsify his tax returns, lie to banks to get loans and hide foreign bank accounts.
Gates, who pleaded guilty in February to charges of conspiracy and lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, admitted to committing crimes with former business associate Manafort earlier this week.
"Let me be clear, I don't care what the transcript said ... don't do it again", Ellis said, admonishing the prosecutor Uzo Asonye.
"Generally, when a person's testimony is corroborated by objective evidence - whether that be a recording, a document, or something else - it makes it hard to attack that by just attacking the witness's credibility", a former USA attorney with experience prosecuting similar fraud cases said. Gates also provided the first witness testimony that overlaps with Trump's presidential campaign.