Gates, star witness against Manafort, concludes testimony
Gates, star witness against Manafort, concludes testimony
‘Secret life’: Rick Gates forced to reveal affair at Manafort trial
10 August, 2018, 05:44
Downing implied that Gates had lied on the stand, leading senior U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis III, the 78-year-old Ronald Reagan nominee overseeing the trial, to confer with both sides at the bench.
Paul Manafort's former accountant was sacked from a Virginia firm after she told the court she was aware that Manafort's tax returns contained false information. He was aware that Manafort was acting as an unregistered foreign agent in lobbying for Ukraine, he said.
"The only answer I was told was to tell the truth", Gates replied. I hope Manafort said "thank you" at least.
Greg Andres, a prosecutor on special counsel Robert Mueller's team, somewhat softened the blows Manafort's attorney had inflicted during his cross examination.
Melinda James, a Citizens Bank mortgage loan assistant, testified that Manafort had told the bank that a New York City property would be used as a second residence, but she found it listed as a rental on a real estate website. His defence team is seeking to pin the blame on Gates, who they say was responsible for day-to-day operations of the business. Trump was indirectly referenced in multiple ways throughout the testimony, highlighting the risks to the president of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.
In testimony Tuesday, Gates acknowledged embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from Manafort and carrying on an extramarital affair.
Gates served as a deputy for Manafort's political consulting business, and then as his deputy on the Trump campaign in 2016.
Gates, who pleaded guilty and is cooperating with Mueller's prosecutors, testified in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, that he helped Manafort falsify documents and move millions of dollars from offshore accounts that were hidden from US tax authorities. These questions about Gates' extramarital tryst also carried faint echoes of Trump, coming less than a month after the release of a tape in which Trump can be heard discussing buying the rights to the story of a woman who claimed to have had an affair with him.
More broadly, this trial is a direct result of the special counsel's investigation into the Trump's campaign contacts with Russian Federation.
Gates, Manafort's longtime right-hand man, pleaded guilty in February to one count of conspiracy against the United States and one count of lying to an Federal Bureau of Investigation agent in exchange for testifying against his former boss. "But Mr. Manafort was a longtime client of the firm, and I didn't think I should do that".
Neither man was charged in connection with their Trump campaign work, but the trial has nonetheless been closely watched by a president who insists Manafort was treated shabbily and who continues to fume publicly about Mueller's investigation into potential ties between his associates and the Kremlin. Welch said the monetary figure was based on an accounting method used by Manafort.
Gates said Monday that over the years, Manafort directed him to make payments through wire transfers. That includes longtime Manafort deputy Rick Gates, who testified against his former boss.
As part of his plea agreement to cooperate with prosecutors, Gates also admitted to lying to investigators from the special counsel's office - a fact Downing also seized upon.
Ellis has repeatedly tussled with prosecutors, interrupting them and pressuring them to hurry through their case.
Gates then left the witness stand.
Manafort has pleaded not guilty to 18 counts of bank fraud, tax fraud and failing to disclose foreign bank accounts.
On re-direct from the prosecution, Magionos agreed that two of Manafort's signatures on the same foreign bank document appeared different - implying that he didn't always sign his name the same way.
The terms of Manafort's loan also allowed him to withdraw cash from the bank, and Miceli testified that was not allowed for loans against investment properties.
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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