Federal Bureau of Investigation says ex-Trump campaign chairman hid over 30 offshore accounts

Evarado Alatorre
Agosto 9, 2018

On his second day on the stand in the trial of his former business partner, political consultant and former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates testified that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort pressed for a secretary of the Army appointment for one of the lenders who had given him money despite falsified income information on the documents.

The email exchange about Calk occurred after Manafort left the Trump campaign but while Gates was active on the Trump inauguration committee.

On Wednesday, Gates initially testified Manafort told him to be truthful during a 2014 interview with the Federal Bureau of Investigation about offshore shell companies and bank accounts that contained millions of dollars in proceeds from their Ukrainian political work.

"I'm not happy with this judge", Napolitano said on Fox News.

Asked if he got any personal benefit from Mr Manafort's falsified loan applications, Gates responded: "No, I did not".

Paul Manafort hid more than 30 offshore accounts in three types of currencies from the IRS, according to an Federal Bureau of Investigation forensic accountant testifying in the former Trump campaign chairman's trial.

The case against Manafort has little to do with either man's work for the Trump campaign and there's been no discussion during the trial about whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russian Federation - the central question Mueller's team has tried to answer.

Gates also admitted, however, that the same tricks he used to help doctor and falsify records for Manafort he also deployed for his own personal gain in order to covertly wire funds out of Manafort's offshore accounts to line his own pockets.

He also said Manafort had asked him to disguise income as loans.

Rick Gates, Manafort's longtime deputy and the prosecution's star witness, walked out of the courtroom late Wednesday morning after more than 10 hours of testimony that spanned three days.

Prosecutor Greg Andres had objected to the defense using the affair against Gates, saying the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled "that if somebody cheats on their wife or whatever, it's not necessarily indicative of truthfulness".

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Paul Manafort's longtime deputy told jurors Tuesday how he spent years disguising millions of dollars in foreign income as loans to lower the former Trump campaign chairman's tax bill.

Although Manafort is not on trial for anything he did while working for Trump, the case is being seen as a key test for the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who brought the charges.

Gates replied that "I made many mistakes over many years" before stepping down from the witness stand.

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

Magionos said foreign bank documents and emails showed that Manafort repeatedly drew from bank accounts in Cyprus, the Grenadines and the United Kingdom to pay for expenditures in the U.S. 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.

For this Manafort was paid US$4million a year, in quarterly payments of US$1million, Gates recalled, though at some point the currency switched from USA dollars to Euros.

Manafort, who helped Republicans Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan reach the White House, was Mr Trump's campaign chairman from May to August 2016.

After Downing asked Gates Wednesday whether he had multiple affairs, Judge T.S. Ellis had a private conversation, out of earshot of the jury.

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.

Manafort has pleaded not guilty to 18 counts of bank fraud, tax fraud and failing to disclose foreign bank accounts. "Mr Manafort had the same path".

Prosecutors relied on Gates to provide first-hand support of the accusations against Manafort.

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