War Of Credibility Over Rick Gates Continues In Paul Manafort Fraud Trial


During cross-examination on Tuesday, the defense painted Gates as living a "secret life" in London and accused him of embezzling money from Manafort's foreign accounts at center of the trial to indulge in an extramarital affair in the United Kingdom.

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

In one exchange published in court Wednesday, Manafort instructs his Cypriot lawyer, Kypros Chrysostomides - referred to in court as "Dr. K" because, according to Gates, his name is hard to spell and pronounce - to transfer money from the Manafort-controlled Leviathan Ltd.

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

Prosecutors on Wednesday planned to call an Federal Bureau of Investigation forensic expert who traced Manafort's accounts.

The additional purchases cited during Welch's testimony included $132,000 for the business International Yacht Collection, $45,000 for a cosmetic dentist north of Palm Beach.

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According to a court transcript, Downing had agreed in a conference on Tuesday with the judge and prosecutors not to raise the subject with Gates, a longtime business partner of Manafort's.

Judge T.S. Ellis III said it would be up to the jury to decide if the signatures were different.

But Downing wasn't able to re-ask Gates the question about four extramarital affairs. Gates came on board the Trump campaign with Manafort and stayed for the duration of the campaign, later serving as deputy chairman for Trump's inaugural committee and then starting a pro-Trump PAC. Gates said the money in these accounts was earned from Manafort's political campaign work.

Manafort was on Trump's campaign team from March to August 2016, starting as a delegate-wrangler and serving as campaign chairman in the last three months.

Under questioning from Downing, Gates acknowledged he had to plead guilty to false statements after lying during a February interview with federal investigators.

"I am here to tell the truth and to take responsibility for my actions".

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Andres also revisited the embezzlement Gates committed against Manafort. This was a way to decrease Manafort's taxable income, added Gates, who did not report the money to Manafort's book-keeper or accountants. "Mr Manafort worked with the local political officials and helped implement policy initiatives based on the campaign promises".

Manafort attorney Richard Westling also attempted to sow doubt in Magionos's testimony regarding the authenticity of the Manafort signature on various documents that were presented. Magionos, who is a CPA and a certified fraud examiner, said she had been assigned to the Manafort investigation to conduct a financial analysis.

Funds "should be in your account today. In reality, it was basically money moving between accounts".

That's important to prosecutors, who need to not only prove Manafort skimped on paying millions of dollars in taxes. "You said you had a made mistake", the lawyer said.

Ellis has repeatedly tussled with prosecutors, interrupting them and pressuring them to hurry through their case.

In their filing, prosecutors attached a transcript showing that in fact Ellis had approved the request a week before.

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"It actually kind of shows in real time the course of months of investigation where they painstakingly did a jigsaw puzzle of records", former US prosecutor Harry Litman said of Magionos' testimony.