Rick Gates Testifies That He Committed Crimes With Paul Manafort

Rick Gates Testifies That He Committed Crimes With Paul Manafort

Richard Gates took the stand in former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortTrump believes Mueller is using Manafort trial to embarrass him: report Debate rages over Trump tweets and obstruction Five things to know about Manafort's first week in court MORE's trial on Monday, where he testified that the two men committed crimes while working together.

That's what the former Trump campaign chairman's "right-hand man", Rick Gates, told jurors in Manafort's financial fraud trial.

Paul Manafort's ongoing trial in Virginia, on charges that include bank and tax fraud, may be a sideshow to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's larger Russian Federation investigation, but it produced a pretty compelling moment of courtroom drama on Monday.

"Did you commit any crimes with Mr. Manafort?" the prosecutor asked.

Gates is expected to be the government's star witness in its case against Manafort.

Gates testified that Manafort directed him to report overseas income as loans in order to lower taxable income and that at Manafort's request, did not disclose foreign bank accounts, which is required by law. He told the court he embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars from his boss. He said he assisted Manafort with a number of loans Manafort was seeking, and that he provided fraudulent and altered documents to support those loans.

The jury has heard how Manafort made tens of millions of dollars for work with pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine. For instance, on Monday, after federal financial crimes specialist Paula Liss testified that neither Manafort nor his wife had reported foreign bank accounts to her agency, FinCEN, defense attorney Tom Zehnle asked her if a person owning less than 51 percent of a company would need to report those accounts.

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The criminal case 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 coordinated with Russian Federation - the central question Mueller's team has tried to answer.

Gates, clean-shaven for his first public appearance since his guilty plea, did not look at his former boss, though Manafort followed his every step and answer. In that time, we're also likely to see several emails and other documents with Gates' and Manafort's names on them as evidence. One came after a September 15, 2015, conference call in which Gates balked at the amount of taxes that Manafort's political consulting firm owed for 2014.

But Laporta's testimony raised the stakes for Manafort, legal experts said. One accounting trick saved Manafort $500,000 in taxes, she said.

Since the trial started before US District Judge T.S. Ellis last Tuesday, Mr Manafort's lawyers have kept their cross-examinations brief and at times refrained from attempting to rebut damaging testimony in detail. He noted that, as is common with cooperating witnesses, Gates testified to a wide array of crimes - including some that the government hadn't known about prior to his cooperation - and even minor violations, like showing up for parole 15 minutes lates.

"Gates is admitting to everything", Dilanian said.

"In most instances it was clear Mr. Manafort knew what was going on", Laporta said.

In a court filing on Monday, prosecutors said they may call Federal Bureau of Investigation forensic accountants Morgan Magionos and Renee Michael to read from Manafort's emails.

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