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Star witness ends testimony in fraud trial of ex-Trump campaign chief

10 August, 2018, 05:45 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • Paul Manafort's associate says 'hundreds' of emails prove former Trump campaign chief directed fraud

Special counsel Robert Mueller's team is reportedly asking Judge T.S. Ellis, who is overseeing the trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, to tell the jury he crossed the line by attacking prosecutors.

It's unclear whether Ellis was only apologizing for the mixup with the IRS agent.

Downing responded that the question goes to whether Downing told the truth to the special counsel or whether the plea agreement should be ripped up - potentially devastating to the government's case and to the public perception of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election interference. "I am trying to change".

Andres sought to rehabilitate Gates with a series of rapid-fire questions about financial machinations underpinning the tax- and bank-fraud case against Manafort.

She essentially connected the dots of testimony from previous witnesses - vendors, Manafort's bookkeeper and accountants, and Gates - but did so in a way that presented direct links between one witness's part of the story and another's.

"I think he has to keep hammering at the point that Gates is not a credible witness and he can't be believed", he said.

Gates added that Manafort also wanted to give the businessman a heads-up about the FBI's interest in the offshore accounts as part of the USA government's efforts to recover assets stolen under former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

Manafort is accused of filing fraudulent information to secure $16 million in loans from Calk's bank. Gates testified that he had an extramarital affair a decade ago, and also that he embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars from Manafort.

Mr Manafort and Mr Gates were the first people indicted in Mr Mueller's investigation into potential ties between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.

Gates has been the government's star witness in Manafort's financial fraud trial, testifying how, at the behest of his longtime boss, he helped hide millions of dollars in foreign income and submitted fake mortgage and tax documents.

But Downing wasn't able to re-ask Gates the question about four extramarital affairs. "Mr. Manafort had the same path", Gates said.

Neither man was charged in connection with their Trump campaign work, but the trial has nonetheless been a distraction for a president who insists Manafort was treated shabbily and who continues to publicly fume about Mueller's investigation into potential ties between his associates and the Kremlin.

"Pls make the 5 transfers listed below from the Leviathan account and confirm to me when completed", he wrote in an email to the Cypriot law firm that maintained signatory control over his accounts.

"I may have made a mistake".

Gates, 46, is expected to be cross-examined for about another hour by Manafort's attorney Kevin Downing before prosecutors get a second chance to try and undo some of the possibly damaging testimony he gave during their redirect.

At the time he worked for Trump, jurors heard, Manafort's business in Ukraine had always been dried up, and his firm didn't have any clients. He also admitted to embezzling money from other employers in the past.

Mr Gates testified he and Mr Manafort knew they were committing crimes for years, saying they had stashed money in foreign bank accounts and falsified bank loan documents.

He showed jurors how the Federal Bureau of Investigation had painstakingly traced wire transfers from foreign bank accounts to retailers in the USA who sold Manafort expensive goods - including the custom men's clothier Alan Couture, where Manafort bought jackets made of ostrich and python skin that each cost five figures.

The government said it expects to wrap up its case by the end of the week. Gates also provided the first witness testimony that overlaps with Trump's presidential campaign. Trump often boasts that he hires "the best people", and the sixth day of the trial showcased two people who worked for him, one who allegedly tried to use his influence in Trump's circle to boost someone he had a sketchy financial relationship with, and another who admitted under oath that he may have stolen money from Trump's inaugural committee.

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