Gates says Manafort told him to be truthful to Federal Bureau of Investigation
Gates says Manafort told him to be truthful to Federal Bureau of Investigation
08 August, 2018, 20:30
Former President Donald Trump's aide Rick Gates returned to the court Wednesday to testify against his former boss, Paul Manafort, in special counsel Robert Mueller's federal tax trial against the former Trump campaign chairman.
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.
Manafort's lawyer suggested that the affair - which included a London pad, first-class plane trips and luxury hotels - cost up to $3 million.
The face off between longtime business partners Paul Manafort and Rick Gates ramped up in an Alexandria, Virginia courtroom today, as Gates admitted to having an extramarital affair and using embezzled money to fund his sins.
Instead, Manafort is charged with evading taxes and bank fraud related to the money he made providing political consulting services in Ukraine.
Gates testified Tuesday that Manafort hit the roof when faced with an enormous tax bill.
Gates said it was a "very common method" for Dr. K and that, once the money was moved into the accounts, Manafort decided what to do with it.
Ahead of that barrage, Gates has implicated himself in a vast amount of criminal conduct on the stand, an apparent strategic decision by prosecutors as they hope to take some of the steam out of the defense's questioning.
Gate's testimony was part of the prosecution's effort to prove that Manafort was responsible for financial maneuverings that he and other witnesses have testified include filing false tax returns, defrauding banks in borrowing against real estate, and failing to report foreign bank accounts. He also admitted to embezzling money from other employers in the past. "You told me you were on top of this", he wrote Gates in April 2015.
Gates has told jurors he and Manafort spent years carrying out a vast tax-evasion and bank fraud conspiracy involving millions of dollars.
Manafort and Gates were the first two people indicted in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into potential ties between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.
Defense attorney Kevin Downing pushed as hard as he could for the last two hours of Tuesday's proceedings to get a rise out of Gates, who refused to engage with more than flat, passionless responses.
On Tuesday, Gates did connect one part of the bank fraud charges against Manafort to his role in the Trump campaign.
Gates said he helped Manafort hide secret bank accounts in the United Kingdom, Cyprus and the Grenadines. Gates said the money he took was sent to his account in the United Kingdom and was never disclosed to his accountants or the US government.
After saying Monday that he committed crimes with Manafort, including concealing offshore accounts to avoid reporting them to the US government at tax time and claiming false income to get loans, Manafort defense attorney Kevin Downing asked the witness, "This jury is just supposed to believe you after all the lies that you've told and the fraud you've committed?" When Gates had prepared the transaction, he would run the final logistics by Manafort.
The email exchange about Calk occurred after Manafort left the Trump campaign but while Gates was active on the Trump inauguration committee. He frequently used the phrases "It's possible" and "I don't recall" as Downing challenged him about inconsistencies in testimony he gave to the special counsel's office. Manafort has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
In October 2016, for instance, Gates sent Manafort DMP's profit and loss statement (P&L) from January 1 through June 30 of that year, emails introduced in court Tuesday show.
Downing's question came after prosecutor Greg Andres had stressed in his questioning of Gates Wednesday morning that his plea deal would be ripped up if he lied from the stand.
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