Star Witness Gates Testifies He Committed Crimes With Manafort

07 August, 2018, 04:55 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • Rick Gates and Paul Manafort

Gates, who also served in a senior role in Donald Trump's presidential campaign, is expected to face aggressive cross-examination once prosecutors are finished questioning him.

Rick Gates, the key prosecution witness in the tax and fraud trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, testified Monday he had committed crimes alongside and at the direction of his former partner - and had also stolen from Manafort himself. In calling Gates, the government will present jurors with the firsthand account of a co-conspirator expected to say Manafort was knee-deep in an alleged scheme to hide millions of dollars from the IRS and defraud several banks.

The jury had heard testimony on Friday and Monday from accountant Cynthia Laporta, who described how Manafort and Gates doctored financial statements and backdated loans.

On day five of the trial in Alexandria, Virginia, Gates was asked by the prosecutor whether he had committed any crimes with Mr Manafort, and he said: "Yes".

Manafort's attorneys have signalled they will seek to blame Gates and have accused him of embezzling millions of dollars from Manafort. The former Trump campaign chairman has pleaded not guilty to several counts of bank fraud, tax evasion and money laundering, among others, related to his work as a pro-Russia lobbyist in Ukraine. Rick Gates became the first member of the Trump campaign to publicly admit to crimes.

Gates also reportedly told the court on Monday that he had been told by Mr Manafort not to disclose foreign bank accounts.


The charges largely predate his five months on the Trump campaign but were the first to go to trial arising from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 USA election. The defense introduced its own documents to the jury for the first time - rather than relying on the prosecutors' binders of evidence - and showed that Manafort had paid $8 million in taxes over 10 years.

Instead, prosecutors called a different witness named Paula Liss.

Prosecutors said last week that they meant to call him to the stand before resting their case this week.

In court today, prosecutors walked Gates through his plea agreement and the charges he had faced before he pleaded guilty and began cooperating with the government.

Manafort attorney Kevin Downing says that Rick Gates will testify at the conclusion of the testimony of Manafort's tax preparer. Gates said he made the government aware of the scheme, which was not among the initial charges he faced before pleading guilty, as part of his cooperation with prosecutors. During that process, Gates admitted to two felony charges, but when he testifies it will be the first time he'll detail those crimes face-to-face with his former boss and mentor.

Though the names of those companies appeared on wire transfers and at times on his bookkeeper's ledger, both Manafort's accountants and his bookkeeper say they never knew that the companies - and corresponding offshore bank accounts - were controlled by Manafort. When Robert Mueller began investigating Russian interference a year ago, Manafort's questionable lobbying work - the sort of activity that has historically rarely been investigated in Washington - was put under a microscope, exposing him and his associates.

Recommended:



Popular

Google Releases Android 9 Pie
The digital wellbeing features are officially launching later this year, but are available right now for Pixel phones in beta. For example, App Actions will suggest a playlist when you connect Bluetooth headphones.

UN to convene Yemen talks in Geneva next month
The Houthis say the attacks targeted city's Public al-Thawra Hospital as well as a busy fishing port; at least 124 Yemenis were also wounded in the attack.

Demi Lovato Agrees to Go to Rehab After Hospital Release
Unnamed sources told TMZ Thursday and People Friday that the singer will begin treatment immediately after she is discharged. Demi experienced complications after her apparent overdose and remained in the hospital with extreme nausea and fever.

OPEC oil production climbs as Saudi Arabia pumps moreNaija247news
American oil production in May actually inched down from April by 0.3 percent, according to EIA's Monthly Crude Oil and Natural Gas Production report.

Solid July Jobs Report Points to Momentum in Q3
Strong demand from consumers and businesses sharply reduced the stockpiles of goods held on many store shelves and warehouses. The consensus on Wall Street calls for the central bank to raise rates twice more this year, in September and December.

Terrell Owens skipped HOF ceremony because of sportswriters
In a past Twitter exchange, Owens was once posed the question who threw him the best ball during his career. Fans wore Owens' No. 81 jersey from his stints in Dallas, San Francisco and Philadelphia.

Trump shoots at LeBron
While James' interview aired Monday night and into Tuesday, the president clearly didn't hear about it until Friday. In 2013, he congratulated James on winning Athlete of the Year at the ESPYs and "a great guy".

After a decade, Google finally agrees to censor search results in China
This will ensure that people will not be recommended photos and information banned by the Chinese government. It will automatically block any websites or searches that are not approved under the Great Firewall .

China says tariff threat against US 'justified'
U.S. threats have escalated since, with the president saying he is ready to impose tariffs on all $500bn of Chinese imports . Beijing said the timing of the new tariffs would depend on whether the United States follows through on its threat.

What does interest rate rise mean for mortgages and savings?
He said: "Its been a problem for decades that the banks always pass the pain onto savers but not the benefits". This is the second time in a row that the RBI has hiked its key lending rate.