‘Greed, lies and manipulation’: Ex-federal prosecutor says Paul Manafort appears doomed as trial nears end
Gene Rossi (MSNBC)

Veteran federal prosecutor Gene Rossi has handled more than 110 federal trials, but he has never seen a level of corruption deeper than the evidence laid out against Paul Manafort.

Rossi served nearly three decades in the U.S. Department of Justice, where he tried more than 90 cases before a jury, and he told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" he was stunned by the allegations against President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman.

"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."

Rossi praised the prosecutors for their presentation of the evidence against Manafort, and he said their handling of star witness Rick Gates was masterful.

"I thought Rick Gates' direct exam by the prosecutor was outstanding -- outstanding," Rossi said. "He corroborated everything that the government theory is asking a jury to believe."

Gates served as Manafort's lieutenant for years, and he agreed to testify against his longtime business partner as part of a plea agreement with federal prosecutors.

"I want the folks watching this show to focus on one exhibit that sort of shows who Rick Gates is," Rossi said. "This is government exhibit 391. It is an email to Rick Gates. Paul Manafort says, Rick, you are the quarterback, quote, unquote. That is the theory of this case."

"Rick Gates was, indeed, the quarterback, but who was calling the plays?" he added. "Coach Paul -- and I'm not talking about Paul 'Bear' Bryant. I'm talking about Paul Manafort. That email is devastating, and Rick Gates' testimony and the documents corroborated that email."