ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Rick Gates was just an intern when he first crossed paths with Paul Manafort.
Years later Mr. Gates went to work for him, rising to become right hand man to Mr. Manafort, once a powerful force in Republican politics who more recently had turned his sights to lucrative opportunities abroad.
On Monday, Mr. Gates was Mr. Manafort’s ultimate nemesis, the prosecution’s star witness in Mr. Manafort’s trial on tax and bank fraud charges stemming from work they did together for pro-Russia political forces in Ukraine.
At a time when the investigation into President Trump and Russian involvement in the 2016 campaign has left Washington in a state of constant drama, it was a moment of particular pathos. There was the protégé, having turned against his mentor and agreed to a plea deal, starting to give his account of how the two of them laundered their income. A few feet away was his former boss, flanked by five lawyers waiting to shred Mr. Gates’s character.