Publicado: Mier, Agosto 08, 2018
Global | Por Milagro Delgado

Gates returns for high-drama testimony against Manafort

Gates returns for high-drama testimony against Manafort

HuffPost Illustration/Getty Images Rick Gates, the star witness in the case against Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. Manafort's trial is the first trial associated with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Trump's ties to Russian Federation.

Gates, who is cooperating with prosecutors in the trial of Trump's former campaign chairman, testified that Manafort directed him to report overseas income as loans in order to lower his taxable income.

Gates and Manafort purposely lied to Manafort's accountants, telling them he had no foreign accounts or interests, Gates said. He said he engaged in the wrongdoing at Manafort's direction.

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

Gates, who cut a plea deal with Mueller months ago, also confessed to embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from Manafort, in part by fabricating expense reports.

Gates spent much of his testimony Monday corroborating that version of events, but on Tuesday, Manafort's defense team will get a chance to paint a different picture.

Those admissions are likely to become a focal point for Manafort's defence team when he is cross examined on Tuesday. Laporta, who testified under an immunity deal with the government, acknowledged that she agreed under pressure from Gates to alter a tax document for one of Manafort's businesses.

Mr Mueller is also investigating possible coordination between Trump campaign members and Russian officials in the election campaign, but the charges against Mr Manafort do not address that.

"At Mr Manafort's request we did not disclose foreign bank accounts", Mr Gates told the jury in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia. Kilimnik was indicted in the Mueller investigation in June.

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Rick Gates, the right-hand man of Trump's former campaign chair Paul Manafort, testified in federal court Monday that he has been involved in criminal activity with Manafort.

Reporters in the courtroom said that Manafort stared intently at Gates while he testified against him, but that Gates avoided looking at his former partner.

Finally, before the court recessed for lunch, Gates said that he helped Manafort convert a $1.5 million 2012 loan from Peranova Holdings into income while applying for a loan in 2016.

Gates revealed that Pinchuk paid Manafort through a company called Plymouth Consultants Ltd. for what he described as a legal project.

In questioning Ms Laporta on Monday, a prosecutor asked the accountant about a $10 million loan purportedly received by Mr Manafort from Russian businessman Oleg Deripaska in 2006.

"Yes", Laporta said, "of course" she would call Manafort if she suspected Gates was enriching himself with Manafort's money.

During Manafort's trial, Greg D. Andres and other prosecutors have tried to illustrate the corrupt nature of the Ukrainian politicians and oligarchs Manafort worked with-and Judge T.S. Ellis has discouraged such testimony.

Gates is expected to testify for several hours Tuesday and then face a bruising cross-examination as defence lawyers try to undercut his credibility and pin the blame on him. That's probably because prosecutors are trying to build their case against Manfort on dry-sounding stuff like tax documents, tax law, company ledgers, emails and other records.

"In most instances, it was clear that Mr. Manafort was aware what was going on", she testified.

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