Manafort’s Lawyers Get Personal As Rick Gates’s Testimony Wraps Up

Paul Manafort's attorney Kevin Downing on Wednesday asked whether longtime Manafort deputy Rick Gates had four extramarital affairs - and not just one overseas 10 years ago - implying that Gates might have lied to special counsel Robert Mueller's team and could put his plea deal in jeopardy.

Manafort's attorney Kevin Downing asked whether Gates had four extramarital affairs - and not just one overseas 10 years ago - implying that Gates might have lied to special counsel Robert Mueller's team and could put his plea deal in jeopardy.

Ellis sustained the objection on the grounds that Gates' affairs were irrelevant but did not rebuke Downing for mentioning the issue before the jury.

The terms of Manafort's loan also allowed him to withdraw cash from the bank, and Miceli testified that was not allowed for loans against investment properties. "In reality, it was basically money moving between accounts". Magionos also detailed personal payments made by Manafort to companies and services through his many offshore accounts.

"One could get lost with the movement of all these moneys", Ellis mused from the bench.

Magionos testified that she reviewed 31 accounts tied to Manafort in Cyprus, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the United Kingdom, and Manafort was listed as the beneficial owner on at least some of them.

She said in another instance, Manafort maintained that there were no mortgages on a separate NY property when there actually were.

Manafort's defense attorneys have sought to paint Gates as an embezzler, a liar and the instigator of any criminal conduct.

Both Manafort and Gates were indicted previous year on charges of bank and tax fraud as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe. Prosecutors say he failed to disclose offshore accounts and income on his tax returns and didn't report foreign accounts as required.

Numerous emails admitted into evidence Wednesday showed how Manafort personally directed wire transfers from such accounts. Welch said the monetary figure was based on an accounting method used by Manafort.

The aggressive questioning was aimed at shifting blame from Mr Manafort onto Mr Gates, who pleaded guilty in Mr Mueller's investigation and agreed to co-operate with investigators by testifying in the financial fraud trial.

Greg Andres, an attorney with special counsel Robert Mueller's office, said the prosecution is running ahead of schedule.

"Put aside any criticism", Ellis said at the trial proceedings Thursday morning. "I made a mistake". I'm not very patient.

Jurors had previously heard testimony that several employees of a Cyprus law firm were listed as directors on accounts that paid for Manafort's lavish lifestyle. However, the Manafort case - as President Donald Trump has been quick to point out - focuses on Manafort's business dealings and has no direct connection to Manafort's work with the Trump campaign.

Gates said he did not.

But Downing wasn't able to re-ask Gates the question about four extramarital affairs. After a sidebar with the judge, Downing moved onto another topic.

Gates replied that "I made many mistakes over many years" before stepping down from the witness stand.

After Yanukovych lost power in 2014, "I would say it decreased the income stream", Gates, wearing a blue suit, told the court matter-of-factly.

That, Downing said, would invalidate his plea deal.

Rick Gates has finished three days' worth of dramatic testimony in federal court against his former business partner, ex-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort - but not before defense lawyers caused a stir by pressing him for details on his past infidelity. He also asked Gates about his initial admission of the affair in London.

Andres asked him: "Did you provide false information to the banks?'"

"Did he fire you?"

Manafort is the first person to be tried on charges brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 USA election.

Downing argued it was fair game because Gates had suggested on the stand he only had one affair.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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