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Gates Describes Manafort Orders While Defense Hammers 'Secret Life'

09 August 2018

Paul Manafort's former business partner, Rick Gates, is on the stand for the third straight day in Manafort's bank and tax fraud trial as prosecutors and defense lawyers wage their battle over Gates' credibility.

While Gates and others have pleaded guilty, Manafort has refused to strike a deal and legal experts say he may be holding out hopes of a pardon from Trump. "I hear the list is being considered this weekend", the Washington Post reported.

Part of that record were several emails Manafort sent Gates.

As well as being a senior aide on Trump's election campaign, Gates served as the deputy chairman of the United States president's inaugural committee.

From the prosecution's perspective, Magionos' testimony was key to the jury's understanding of the case.

Calk spoke with Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley on November 16, 2016, at a Chicago business lunch, according to a letter sent by Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, to Calk, CNN reported.

Manafort is the first person to be tried on charges brought by special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 USA presidential election.

Manafort's attorneys have signaled they will seek to blame Gates and have accused him of embezzling millions of dollars from Manafort.

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"I understand how frustrated you are", Ellis said to Greg Andres.

On Tuesday, defense attorney Kevin Downing appeared to be pressing Rick Gates to admit he had an extramarital affair as part of the effort to discredit his testimony against Paul Manafort.

"This jury is just supposed to believe you after all the lies that you've told and the fraud you've committed?" asked Downing.

Asked if he had been coached, Gates replied, "The only answer I was told was to tell the truth".

Gates, who pleaded guilty in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation in February, has testified that he helped Manafort falsify his tax returns, lie to banks to get loans and hide foreign bank accounts that Manafort used to receive payments from oligarchs for political work he did in Ukraine.

"In Cyprus, they were documented as loans".

Meanwhile, Downing on Wednesday afternoon tried to draw the jury's attention back to admissions by Gates that he had embezzled funds from Manafort, asking Welch if his client could claim a business embezzlement deduction. Manafort's lawyers on Wednesday tried to further malign Gates as a witness by suggesting Gates lied about the number of extramarital affairs he's had.

Gates testified that he engaged in an extensive criminal conspiracy with Manafort that lasted seven years and included lying to the Internal Revenue Service to avoid paying taxes and providing false documents to banks to obtains millions of dollars in loans.

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Gates testified that at Manafort's direction he went on to reclassify some of the income as a loan to lower the taxes owed. "Mr. Manafort had the same path", Gates said.

"Mr Downing, I've made many mistakes over many years", said Gates, before being cut off by the judge, who snapped: "This isn't the time for that".

Gates told the court in Alexandria, Virginia, that he had met with government lawyer Greg Andres and Federal Bureau of Investigation agents 20 times and been told only to tell the truth, without any guarantee that he will be spared prison.

But the defense team has taken on the the daunting task of convincing jurors that Gates, who was in constant communication with Manafort and carrying out his wishes, is an unreliable witness who had simply gone rogue and independently made a decision to boost his boss' personal income over a period of several years.

Gates explained that Manafort's financial difficulties worsened in 2014, when Viktor Yanukovych was no longer in power and the Party of Regions disintegrated.

Paul Manafort's former "right-hand man" admitted Tuesday that he embezzled from their consulting firm, engaged in fraud, lied to the special counsel, and conducted an global extramarital affair.

He said Manafort asked for tickets to Trump's inauguration so he could give them to a banker involved in approving a loan at the center of his financial fraud trial.

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Gates Describes Manafort Orders While Defense Hammers 'Secret Life'