Manafort lawyer: 'So many lies' Gates can't keep up

Aaron Brown
August 8, 2018

Throughout his testimony, Gates largely avoided making eye contact with Manafort, who appeared to be watching him.

"In Cyprus, they were documented as loans".

The appearance by Gates, who pleaded guilty and is cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, sent a jolt through the courtroom in Alexandria, Virginia, where Manafort's lawyers have branded him as a liar and a thief who embezzled millions of dollars and can't be trusted.

Gates reportedly testified that he broke the law by failing to report foreign bank accounts, helping Manafort file false tax returns, and swindling Manafort out of money by submitting fake expense reports. Gates pleaded guilty to financial fraud and to lying to investigators as he negotiated a plea agreement, something defense lawyers will no doubt seize on to try to undercut his credibility.

In one email, Manafort wrote "WTF" and "not happy" about tax payments he was going to have to make, Gates said.

Similar to prior witnesses, Ms Laporta testified Mr Gates and Mr Manafort were in lockstep but that Mr Manafort was in charge.

Rick Gates leaves federal court in Washington, Feb. 23, 2018.

On Monday, he admitted in court to embezzling thousands of dollars from his former boss, and said that the two of them had committed crimes together. But while Laporta acknowledged that she regularly communicated with Gates, she said she believed Manafort was in the know. The first witness - Tad Devine, a Democratic political strategist who worked on Bernie Sanders's presidential campaign - took the stand to tell jurors about work he did with Manafort in Ukraine.

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When Andres tried to elicit testimony about the oligarchs' backgrounds and why they paid Manafort millions of dollars for his political advice, Ellis urged Andres to "go to the heart of the matter".

Gates also told jurors that after the money from their Ukrainian political consulting work dried up in 2014, the two men tried to earn money from a new opposition party that was formed, but payments were slow to come. He has played those roles throughout the trial, repeatedly scolding prosecutors to rein in their depictions of Manafort's lavish lifestyle and demanding that they "move it along".

Prosecutors are expected to continue questioning Gates on Tuesday morning before Manafort's defense attorneys get their chance to cross-examine him.

There was no mention of President Trump or his campaign, but this trial is the first big public test for the special counsel. He also admitted to concealing millions of dollars in foreign bank accounts on Manafort's behalf and to falsifying documents to help his former boss obtain millions of dollars more in bank loans.

"When income came into the company, Mr. Manafort directed whether it would be treated as income.or loans", Gates said.

Asked whether the money in the accounts was Manafort's income, Gates said, "it was".

Manafort has a second trial scheduled for September involving allegations that he acted as an unregistered foreign agent for Ukrainian interests and made false statements to the United States government.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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