Published: Fri, August 10, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Rick Gates' trustworthiness questioned in Paul Manafort trial

Rick Gates' trustworthiness questioned in Paul Manafort trial

Bank records were put on display during the eighth day of the trial.

Prosecutors summoned Mr Gates to give jurors the first-hand account of a co-conspirator they say helped Mr Manafort carry out an elaborate offshore tax-evasion and bank fraud scheme.

The trial is the first stemming from special counsel Robert Mueller's 14-month investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.

And IRS agent Michael Welch said Manafort used his foreign income for purchases that included a yacht, horseback riding, Italian villa rental and cosmetic dentistry.

She identified Manafort as the person in control of the 31 foreign bank accounts.

Gates admitted to cheating on his wife about 10 years ago, but denied using company money to fund his affair, even as Downing sarcastically noted the apartment Gates kept in the United Kingdom: "A flat?" This was a way to decrease Manafort's taxable income, added Gates, who did not report the money to Manafort's book-keeper or accountants. "I am here. I have accepted responsibility and I am trying to change".

Prosecutors are nearing the end of their case against Manafort.

He scoffed at the idea Mr Gates had repented for his actions, noting that prosecutors have said they won't oppose his bid for probation and getting him to acknowledge he had not repaid the money he had taken from Mr Manafort.

In one case, Ellis snapped at prosecutors in front of the jury because they allowed an IRS agent to attend the trial.

Litman said he believed the indictment was hard to put together - "but once put together, a pretty straightforward case to prove".

"In Cyprus, they were documented as loans". Downing asked Gates if he recalled telling the special counsel's office that he'd had four different extramarital affairs.

Speaking of Ellis, the 78-year-old U.S. District Court judge overseeing the Eastern Virginia trial renewed his angry tone with prosecutors Wednesday. Andres asked. Gates said he didn't.

"I do somehow think he has gotten his back up personally about Greg Andres". I hope Manafort said "thank you" at least.

Earlier on Tuesday, the prosecution had continued to question Gates, who described how millions of dollars were allegedly funnelled from entities controlled by Ukrainian businessmen into Manafort's shell companies in Cyprus.

Gates also said Manafort floated banker Stephen Calk's name for consideration as Secretary of the Army, a post he ultimately did not get.

In a filing Thursday, Mueller's team said it wanted to keep secret a discussion between trial attorneys and Judge T.S. Ellis regarding a question to Gates secret because the transcript of the conversation would "reveal details of the ongoing investigation".

Ellis has repeatedly prodded prosecutors to move swiftly while seemingly giving Manafort's defense team more latitude.

Some lawyers following the trial also criticized Ellis for not reacting more strongly to defense lawyer Kevin Downing's attempt to ask the government's star witness Rick Gates on Wednesday whether he had told prosecutors about his four extramarital affairs. He is the first person to be tried on charges brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US election. It's a practice he has admitted to doing to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars from Manafort, and under pressure from Downing, he agreed that it could be called embezzlement.

The bank employees, in emails with Manafort and others, raised concerns they had about Manafort's available cash in his business, the possibility that another property in NY already backed a loan and that the Soho condo was being rented on Airbnb, James testified. And he lied to special counsel investigators after striking a plea agreement with them.

Gates' ongoing testimony on Tuesday - the sixth day of Manafort's fraud trial - came one day after he testified that he'd committed crimes with Manafort.

Downing's smear of Gates may not matter if jurors think the documentary and email evidence prosecutors presented lines up with Gates' testimony.

He said if Ellis feels that negatively about the prosecution, then he should keep those feelings to himself or he shouldn't be on the case.

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