Manafort's Lawyers Allege Gates Lived A 'Secret Life'

Lamar Ellis
August 8, 2018

Prosecutors asked for the first time about Manafort's role on the Trump campaign. "The secret Rick Gates?".

The judge then brought the trial to a standstill late Tuesday afternoon, calling a brief recess.

When Downing questioned why Gates had embezzled money from his boss, he used it as an opportunity to issue a public apology. But inside the courtroom, trial proceedings had plodded along almost Trump-free.

At the time, Manafort had applied for loans from Federal Savings Bank, which lent him $16 million.

In applying for a loan from Banc of California, Gates said the income from Manafort's company was inflated by $6 million.

Downing accused Gates of lying on expense reports to make trips to London and around Europe. "Because on the one hand, Gates stole money from him, but on the other hand he clearly learned everything that Manafort taught him". 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. They have tried several times to impugn his credibility before the jury.

The "sole objective", Gates said, was to facilitate Ukrainian payments to Manafort.

After Cyprus' financial collapse, a more through form of documentation was required in St. Vincent. He said there were 15 secret accounts.

Instead, Manafort is charged with evading taxes and bank fraud related to the money he made providing political consulting services in Ukraine.

"Did you submit personal expenses to the inaugural committee for reimbursement?"

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Laporta thought that was odd, so she asked Gates for information about the $2.4 million Manafort was supposedly owed. Manafort is charged with bank and tax fraud related to political consulting work he did in Ukraine.

Manafort and Gates were the first two people indicted in Mueller's investigation into potential ties between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign. That could be limited by ground rules both sides agreed to before the trial, including that Manafort's team must not assert that the special counsel's office had a political motivation.

As well as being a senior aide on Trump's election campaign, Gates served as the deputy chairman of the USA president's inaugural committee. But Trump has shown interest in the proceedings, tweeting support for Manafort and suggesting he has been treated worse than gangster Al Capone. The firm's director was known to Manafort and Gates as "Doctor K".

Paul Manafort's former accountant was sacked from a Virginia firm after she told the court she was aware that Manafort's tax returns contained false information. Prosecutors allege that the bank lent Manafort money based on fraudulent documents, and that Calk was named an adviser to the campaign and sought the Army post as part of a quid pro quo.

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.

Former U.S. Attorney Michael Moore on questions the star witness for the prosecution will face from Paul Manafort's attorneys. Courtroom illustration courtesy of Bill Hennessy. From 9:30 am until just after 3 pm, Gates corroborated the testimony of Manafort's bookkeeper and two accountants from the days before, along with prosecutors' evidence.

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

The transfers would usually occur when Manafort made requests for Gates to initiate them-often through a list of to-be-sent wire transfers provided by Manafort to Gates via email.

According to Gates, Manafort also reduced his taxable income by wiring money directly from those accounts in Cyprus to expensive vendors in the states for construction projects and fancy clothes.

Prosecutor Greg Andres pointed out that he had created a "loan forgiveness letter between Mr. Manafort and Mr. Manafort". Manafort broke his stare only to review government exhibits on a small monitor in front of him.

Gates converted the 2015 DMP P&L to a Word document for Manafort, but there were spacing, font, and other discrepancies between that copy and the original.

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