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Rick Gates' trustworthiness questioned in Paul Manafort trial

10 August 2018, 05:45 | Devin Moran

Paul Manafort's associate says 'hundreds' of emails prove former Trump campaign chief directed fraud

The Latest Gates wraps testimony says he made ‘mistakes

"I'm not very patient, so don't try my patience", Ellis said.

A rare mea culpa came from U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis for rebuking the prosecution earlier in former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's fraud trial. "There are judges like that, but that's not good for trials". Referring to Manafort's pretrial confinement, Trump asked whether Manafort was being treated worse than Al Capone.

In applying for the loan, Manafort claimed the property was a second home, but prosecutors introduced as evidence a 2015 tax return indicating the property generated about $100,000 in rental income. Prosecutors allege Manafort used various ways to hide his income, including wiring money from Ukraine to the United States via a bank in Cyprus and listing it as a loan, and laundering almost $1 million through the purchases of Oriental rugs.

In three days of testimony, Gates acknowledged cheating on his wife, stealing from Manafort and initially lying to special counsel Robert Mueller's team investigating Russian election meddling.

Gates answered affirmatively. When Downing went to ask another question, the prosecution objected.

Magionos testified that she reviewed 31 accounts tied to Manafort in Cyprus, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the United Kingdom, and Manafort was listed as the beneficial owner on at least some of them. They have tried several times to impugn his credibility before the jury.

And in one remarkable exchange that the jury did not hear, Ellis told prosecutor Greg Andres to "look at me when you're talking to me", and then suggested Andres had tears in his eyes. That distinction matters because banks regard loans for investment properties as riskier and impose restrictions, including on how much money they're willing to lend. "In reality, it was basically money moving between accounts", Gates said.

Mr Gates testified he and Mr Manafort knew they were committing crimes for years, saying they had stashed money in foreign bank accounts and falsified bank loan documents.

Manafort was chairman of Donald Trump's presidential campaign, and his longtime deputy was part of the campaign, too.




Both Manafort and Gates were indicted a year ago on charges of bank and tax fraud as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe.

A court filing was submitted on Thursday to remind Ellis that he previously allowed Welch to attend the trial, and the prosecution team also asked him to tell the jury he was wrong to accuse the government of improper conduct.

He also accused the special counsel of having unfettered power, something he sought to cure by limiting prosecutors' references to Mr. Trump or Russian collusion in the Manafort case. He is testifying as an expert witness in Manafort's financial fraud trial. The charges brought against Manafort in his ongoing Alexandria, Va., trial are unrelated to his time as head of the Trump campaign.

The face-off between longtime business associates and former senior members of the Trump campaign drew scores of people who waited in line for hours outside the courthouse and then jammed into both the courtroom and an overflow room that contained a video feed of the proceedings.

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. Courtroom illustration courtesy of Bill Hennessy.

She identified Manafort as the person in control of the 31 foreign bank accounts.

James testified about uncovering Manafort's alleged lies by perusing insurance documentation for the Brooklyn property and making a quick call to Street Easy, which confirmed the Howard St. address "was listed for rent". "It has nothing to do with your consideration in this case", he said, adding: "This robe doesn't make me anything other than human".

Gates said he and Manafort created an elaborate operation in Cyprus to use shell companies to secretly accept the money. "Mr. Manafort had the same path".

Manafort attorney Richard Westling also attempted to sow doubt in Magionos's testimony regarding the authenticity of the Manafort signature on various documents that were presented.



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