Judge backs off comments to prosecutors in ex-Trump aide Manafort's trial
Judge backs off comments to prosecutors in ex-Trump aide Manafort's trial
‘Secret life’: Rick Gates forced to reveal affair at Manafort trial
10 August, 2018, 05:44
Rick Gates, the ex-Trump campaign aide and Paul Manafort's business partner, is on the witness stand for the third day in Manafort's first criminal trial.
Gates' testimony, which began on Monday in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, ended Wednesday morning soon after Manafort lawyer Kevin Downing had asked Gates if his "secret life" spanned the years 2010 to 2014. A bookkeeper said she helped disguise foreign income as a loan to reduce Manafort's tax burden.
"The only answer I was told was to tell the truth", Gates replied.
"Judge Ellis seems to want the lawyers to try the case the way he would try the case", said Gillers.
A court filing was submitted on Thursday to remind Ellis that he previously allowed Welch to attend the trial, and the prosecution team also asked him to tell the jury he was wrong to accuse the government of improper conduct.
But in reality, Manafort rented out the Howard Street loft on Airbnb for more than a year - as an "Amazing full floor loft in SoHo" - and still had a mortgage on the Brooklyn brownstone, James said. Gates said the money he took was sent to his account in the United Kingdom and was never disclosed to his accountants or the USA government.
Manafort's conviction would undermine efforts by Trump and some Republican lawmakers to paint Mueller's inquiry as a political witch hunt, while an acquittal would be a setback for Mueller.
Gary Seferian, a senior vice president at the Banc of California, said his bank gave Manafort the $1 million loan to rehabilitate and flip properties in the Los Angeles area, in part based on a financial statement for DMP International showing a profit of more than $4 million for 2015.
Mr Downing forced Gates to admit he had stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars from Manafort by filing bogus personal expenses claims and that he had engaged in an extramarital affair and kept an apartment in London for that goal.
Gates served as a deputy for Manafort's political consulting business, and then as his deputy on the Trump campaign in 2016.
The prosecution has put forward more than 20 witnesses - including Manafort's longtime deputy Rick Gates - and a trove of documentary evidence as they've sought to prove Manafort defrauded banks and concealed millions of dollars in offshore bank accounts from the IRS. Downing asked Gates if he recalled telling the special counsel's office that he'd had four different extramarital affairs.
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Prosecutor Greg Andres pointed out he had created a "loan forgiveness letter between Mr. Manafort and Mr. Manafort".
But Gates pleaded guilty months later and agreed to cooperate in Mueller's investigation of Manafort, the only American charged by the special counsel to opt for trial instead of a guilty plea. He said there were 15 secret accounts. They made a mistake when they confirmed me.
"I don't care what the transcript says, maybe I made a mistake", Ellis fumed.
Morgan Magionos told jurors Wednesday that bank records from Cyprus, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the United Kingdom revealed the accounts were connected to Manafort and his associates.
When Yanukovych lost power, Gates testified that "decreased the income stream" significantly for Manafort, and his financial situation "substantially decreased" from prior years.
In testimony Tuesday, Gates laid responsibility squarely at Manafort's feet for a series of crimes, saying the two had committed crimes together by stashing money in foreign bank accounts and falsifying bank loan documents.
Special counsel Robert Mueller's team, which is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election, says Gates was heavily involved in helping hide millions overseas.
Prosecutors had braced for the tough questioning by getting Mr Gates to come clean about his own crimes.
In another email, Manafort told Dr. K's law firm to make five wire transfers to pay for thousands of dollars worth of clothing from Alan Couture.
Manafort, who helped Republicans Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan reach the White House, was Mr Trump's campaign chairman from May to August 2016.
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She said she had identified 31 accounts located in Cyprus, the Grenadines and the United Kingdom belonging to Manafort. Downing also asked Gates if he had submitted personal expenses to President Donald Trump's inaugural committee.
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