Downing also ventured into territory both sides had agreed to avoid: discussion of Donald Trump's presidential campaign.
"Yes, I made a decision", Gates said.
The judge then brought the trial to a standstill late Tuesday afternoon, calling a brief recess.
Gates also admitted, however, that the same tricks he used to help doctor and falsify records for Manafort he also deployed for his own personal gain in order to covertly wire funds out of Manafort's offshore accounts to line his own pockets.
Rudy Giuliani, a lawyer for Trump, on Wednesday again called for Mueller to end his inquiry "without further delay".
An FBI forensic accountant is telling the jury in Paul Manafort's financial fraud trial how she traced millions of dollars of payments for mortgages, home improvements and expensive cars, rugs and clothes back to his hidden foreign bank accounts.
"I'm here to tell the truth and take responsibility for my actions", Gates said in response to a question from Downing about his trustworthiness. They have tried several times to impugn his credibility before the jury.
Wednesday's drama comes after Gates spent large chunks of Monday and Tuesday on the stand detailing a long list of crimes he and Manafort committed, sometimes together, sometimes separately.
Still, that testimony has provided jurors with a damning account as Gates testified that he and Manafort knew they were committing crimes for years.
In all, the pair of authoritative money trackers explained just how large Manafort's alleged foreign bank-account scheme was and how much he's accused of siphoning secretly into luxe purchases.
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Donald Trump's former campaign chief, Paul Manafort, seen here in a June 2018 file photo, is on trial for tax and bank fraud. Gates was asked about 11 Cypriot accounts, and he testified that they were all owned by Ukrainian businessmen.
Manafort and Gates were the first two people indicted in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into potential ties between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.
Although the allegations of collusion between Donald Trump and Russian Federation are not at issue in this trial, any significant blows to the government's case are likely be seized on by the president's defenders, including conservative media, to support his contention that Mueller's investigation is a "rigged witch-hunt".
Manafort, a longtime Republican political consultant, has pleaded not guilty to 18 counts of bank fraud, tax fraud and failing to disclose foreign bank accounts.
As well as being a senior aide on Trump's election campaign, Gates served as the deputy chairman of the USA president's inaugural committee. Prosecutors had previously said that Manafort's interactions with Calk were the only part of the trial expected to overlap with his Trump campaign role. Courtroom illustration courtesy of Bill Hennessy. Federal Bureau of Investigation forensic accountant Morgan Magionos showed her work on tracking Manafort's Ukrainian money and payments out of his foreign accounts.
Lawyers for Manafort used the opportunity to scrutinize Gates' personal foibles, asking if he had a "secret life" from 2010 to 2014.
"WTF", Manafort wrote to Gates in one email shown to the jury.
Gates said he and Manafort created an elaborate operation in Cyprus to use shell companies to secretly accept the money. "Mr. Manafort had the same path", Gates said. The crimes Manafort allegedly committed do not have bearing on that central question, but they were uncovered in the course of the special counsel investigation; this is the first trial resulting from Mueller's probe.
Gates (46) admitted he had embezzled from other employers; he had volunteered the information once he began cooperating.
As part of the cross-examination Gates also clarified testimony that he embezzled money from Manafort's firm, which he used to pay for residence and travel in Europe while he was engaged in an extramarital affair in London. That, Downing said, would invalidate his plea deal.