Takeaways from day six of the Paul Manafort trial

Takeaways from day six of the Paul Manafort trial

Takeaways from day six of the Paul Manafort trial

"I regret it, clearly, and I'm taking responsibility for it", he said.

Star government witness Rick Gates ended three days of testimony on Wednesday after admitting he lied, stole money and cheated as lawyers for U.S. President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort attacked his character.

Manafort, seated at the defence table, stared intently at Gates while his defence attorney hammered him with aggressive questions, but his former business partner carefully avoided his gaze.

Gates also said Mr Manafort had directed him to report money wired from his foreign bank accounts as loans to reduce Mr Manafort's taxable income.

Rick Gates is back on the stand for another hour of cross-examination Wednesday, as defense attorneys seek to paint him as far too compromised to offer credible testimony against his former boss.

"I acknowledge I had a period of time when I had another relationship", said Gates, who is married and has four children. Gates also said he may have submitted personal expenses for reimbursement by Trump's inaugural committee, which he helped operate.

Downing accused Gates of lying on expense reports to make trips to London and around Europe.

Gates struggled so badly to give a straight answer that eventually Judge T S Ellis III was forced to intervene. The defense moved on. "You told me you were on top of this". He also committed credit card and mortgage fraud, falsified a letter for a colleague involved in an investment deal and made false statements in a deposition at Manafort's direction.

Prosecutors summoned Gates to give jurors the first-hand account of a co-conspirator they say helped Manafort carry out an elaborate offshore tax-evasion and bank fraud scheme.

A clothier said he sold Manafort more than $900,000 in suits, a bookkeeper says she helped disguise foreign income as a loan to reduce Manafort's tax burden and, on Wednesday, an Federal Bureau of Investigation forensic account said Manafort hid more than 30 offshore accounts in three types of currencies from the IRS.

"In Cyprus, they were documented as loans".


For this Manafort was paid US$4million a year, in quarterly payments of US$1million, Gates recalled, though at some point the currency switched from United States dollars to Euros.

During the trial's first week, Mr Trump lashed out publicly against Mr Mueller and said the entire effort should be stopped "right now".

Although the allegations of collusion between Donald Trump and Russian Federation are not at issue in this trial, any significant blows to the government's case are likely be seized on by the president's defenders, including conservative media, to support his contention that Mueller's investigation is a "rigged witch-hunt".

Paul Manafort has pleaded not guilty to 18 charges. By reporting it as a loan, Gates explained, he could defer the amount of taxes he owed.

Gates, who pleaded guilty in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation in February, has testified that he helped Manafort falsify his tax returns, lie to banks to get loans and hide foreign bank accounts that Manafort used to receive payments from oligarchs for political work he did in Ukraine.

Downing said an admission of that kind by Gates could lead the special counsel's office to tear up his plea agreement, which is contingent on his truthful testimony during the criminal trial of Manafort, Trump's former campaign chairman.

Gates' ongoing testimony on Tuesday - the sixth day of Manafort's fraud trial - came one day after he testified that he'd committed crimes with Manafort.

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.

Manafort's political work included advising Viktor Yanukovich on policy after he won the Ukrainian presidency, Gates said.

Prosecutor Greg Andres pointed out he had created a "loan forgiveness letter between Mr. Manafort and Mr. Manafort".

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