Gates, star witness against Manafort, concludes testimony

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But that changed Tuesday during a full day of testimony by Rick Gates, the prosecution's star witness and another former member of the campaign.

As Manafort came under pressure to pay his bills, he was forced to seek loans, the court heard.

Manafort and Gates were the first two individuals indicted in Mueller's investigation into potential collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.

Another email from February 2016 had Manafort conversing with Gates about a loan forgiveness letter that both Gates and an accountant have testified was fraudulent.

Numerous emails admitted into evidence Wednesday showed how Manafort personally directed wire transfers from such accounts.

Prosecutors will likely draw Gates back to those facts and away from his own misbehavior on redirect examination. She said Manafort's passport was used to open many of them in US dollars, euros and British pounds.

When Trump asked Perlmutter, a friend and confidante, to help put together his government in December 2016, he agreed to be an outside adviser, selected veterans as his focus, and roped in two other friends, Palm Beach doctor Bruce Moskovitz and lawyer Marc Sherman, Arnsdorf says. Gates said he was responsible for collecting all relevant documents for the loan applications.


On Wednesday, after eliciting an admission from Gates that his plea agreement could be thrown out if he lied, leading to further charges, Downing asked him if had told the Special Counsel "that you actually engaged in four extramarital affairs?"

Gates also said that he did not report 15 foreign offshore bank accounts to the government.

"I thought it was somewhere in the range of a hundred years, your honor", Gates said.

At times, Ellis has crossed lines, Litman said.

For most of his testimony, Gates did not look at Mr Manafort, while the defendant stared intently at his former partner. He spoke in federal court in Virginia when Manafort pleaded not guilty to bank and tax fraud charges there, and defense attorneys accused him of leaking information to the press on Manafort before joining the special counsel's office. "I did, to one count, your honour", he said.

"I would be surprised, given what's occurred in the Manafort trial, if Judge Ellis didn't issue this relatively standard instruction", Abramson said. "Right now, it seems clear that it's the prosecution that should be specifically requesting that instruction from the judge in advance, as Judge Ellis has had some unusually cutting words for the prosecutors in this case".

On Wednesday, Gates initially testified Manafort told him to be truthful during a 2014 interview with the Federal Bureau of Investigation about offshore shell companies and bank accounts that contained millions of dollars in proceeds from their Ukrainian political work.


Manafort is the first person to be tried on charges brought by special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 USA presidential election.

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

"Mr Downing, I've made many mistakes over many years", said Gates, before being cut off by the judge, who snapped: "This isn't the time for that". Gates testified that he had an extramarital affair a decade ago, and also that he embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars from Manafort.

Special counsel Robert Mueller's team, which is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election, says Gates was heavily involved in helping hide millions overseas.

The 46-year-old former political consultant told jurors how Manafort asked for tickets to Trump's inauguration so he could give them to a banker involved in approving a loan at the center of his financial fraud trial.

Gates' voice remained steady and calm throughout his roughy six hours of testimony Tuesday.

"Generally, when a person's testimony is corroborated by objective evidence - whether that be a recording, a document, or something else - it makes it hard to attack that by just attacking the witness's credibility", a former USA attorney with experience prosecuting similar fraud cases said.


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