Manafort’s Lawyers Get Personal As Rick Gates’s Testimony Wraps Up

Evarado Alatorre
Agosto 9, 2018

Downing then noted how on Tuesday he had referred to the witness's "secret life", in particular an extra-marital affair he conducted in London, that involved lavish spending on flights and hotels.

Manafort, 69, faces tax evasion and bank fraud charges, as he is accused of hiding a "significant percentage" of income earned from his lobbyist work in Ukraine from the IRS.

The 46-year-old, who has pleaded guilty to conspiracy and is cooperating with the government, began the day by describing how he helped Manafort evade United States taxes on millions of dollars earned from political consulting work they did in Ukraine.

The exchange between Gates and Manafort's team could be a key moment in the first case that Mueller's team has taken to trial as part of its broad investigation into Russian election meddling.

Also on Wednesday, an Federal Bureau of Investigation forensic accountant, Morgan Magionos, told jurors bank records from Cyprus, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the United Kingdom revealed the accounts were connected to Manafort and his associates. Magionos also detailed personal payments made by Manafort to companies and services through his many offshore accounts.

Defense attorneys then used several hours of cross-examination to try to damage Gates' credibility in the eyes of jurors.

Manafort's attorney Kevin Downing asked whether Gates had four extramarital affairs - and not just one overseas 10 years ago - implying that Gates might have lied to special counsel Robert Mueller's team and could put his plea deal in jeopardy.

The question was cut off and Judge T.S. Ellis had a private conversation with the attorneys, out of earshot of the jury. At one point, as Gates had trouble recalling the details of his confession, Downing asked him, "Have they confronted you with so many lies that you can't even remember them?"

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Under questioning from Downing, Gates acknowledged he had to plead guilty to false statements after lying during a February interview with federal investigators.

Gates was hired by Manafort to serve as deputy campaign chairman and later had a role on Mr Trump's inaugural committee.

After saying Monday that he committed crimes with Manafort, including concealing offshore accounts to avoid reporting them to the USA 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?"

After Yanukovych lost power in 2014, "I would say it decreased the income stream", Gates, wearing a blue suit, told the court matter-of-factly.

The prosecution's case against Manafort doesn't rest exclusively on Gates.

Using charts, emails and financial and tax records, Magionos told jurors how she traced millions of dollars back to his hidden foreign bank accounts. That includes longtime Manafort deputy Rick Gates, who testified against his former boss. However, Gates also said the agents did not ask about tax returns and "the majority of the Cypriot accounts were closed" at the stage.

Perlmutter, Moskowitz, and Sherman have pushed the VA to start new programs, some of which could benefit them personally, and essentially forced out or vetoed jobs for top officials - including Shulkin - who don't accede to their wishes, Arnsdorf says, basing his report on "hundreds of documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act and interviews with former administration officials".

Funds "should be in your account today". He is testifying as an expert witness in Manafort's financial fraud trial. "We need to discuss Steve Calk for Sec (retary) of the Army", Manafort wrote to Gates in an email on November 24, 2016.

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