Rick Gates testifies that he committed crimes with ex-boss Paul Manafort
Rick Gates testifies that he committed crimes with ex-boss Paul Manafort
Rick Gates Testifies That He Committed Crimes With Paul Manafort
07 August, 2018, 21:53
As part of his plea agreement, he has cooperated with prosecutors and is testifying against Manafort.
The criminal case against Manafort has nothing 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 co-ordinated with Russian Federation - the central question Mueller's team has tried to answer.
Mr Gates was Mr Manafort's partner in the consultancy.
He said millions of dollars had been concealed in foreign bank accounts, listing shell companies he and Manafort set up in places including Cyprus and the UK.
On the witness stand Monday, Gates spoke about how he broke the law with Manafort, including by providing false and doctored documents to banks in an effort to inflate Manafort's income to qualify him for loans.
The courtroom testimony brought Gates face-to-face with Manafort, his longtime boss and fellow Trump campaign aide, for the first time since his plea deal.
Gates spent much of his testimony Monday corroborating that version of events, but on Tuesday, Manafort's defense team will get a chance to paint a different picture.
Not once did he let his eyes wander to the defense table, where Manafort sat, arms crossed, staring at his former protégé as he testified against him.
Manafort, 69, meanwhile, is facing 18 felony charges that could carry a maximum of 30 years in prison.
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Gates is expected to take more questions from prosecutors Tuesday morning, and then the defense's cross-examination is expected to take much, if not all, of the afternoon.
The prosecution did not cover much substantial ground Monday on its exhibit list with Gates before Judge T.S. Ellis III adjourned court for the day.
Mr Manafort's attorneys signalled they would seek to blame Mr Gates and had accused him of embezzling millions of dollars from Mr Manafort. 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.
Ellis said all that's relevant is that Manafort was paid and whether he hid the income from the IRS. Similar to prior witnesses, Laporta testified that Gates and Manafort were in lockstep but that Manafort was in charge.
He added he didn't receive any personal benefit for falsifying Manafort's loan applications.
After that, Gates sent her a document dated March 6, 2014, that purported to represent a $900,000 loan from a Cyprus entity, Telmar Limited, to Manafort's company.
Gates didn't respond to any of her emails asking for documents, contracts, and other communications about the alleged forthcoming payment. So far, there has been no evidence made public to substantiate that hope. Ellis overruled the objection.
In one note read to the jury, Gates says Manafort wrote "WTF" and "not happy" about tax payments he was going to have to make. But she noted that she couldn't imagine a scenario where she would have learned Gates was doing that. The current federal trial in the Eastern District of Virginia is based on alleged tax and bank fraud, while next month's Washington, D.C. trial deals with allegations of conspiracy, money laundering, and acting as an unregistered foreign agent.
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Gates says the goal of the fraud was to lower Manafort's tax bill and allow him to defer payment on the income until later years. Prosecutor Greg Andres asked Gates if he conducted criminal activity with Manafort and if he had committed crimes with Manafort.
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