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

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

While President Donald Trump has not played a significant role in the trial, Gates testified on Tuesday that after the election, Manafort recommended a banker who loaned him money to be Trump's Army secretary.

Manafort is charged with 18 counts of bank and tax fraud, and his trial in Alexandria, Va., is the first to be brought on by indictments from special counsel Robert Mueller.

Ahead of that barrage, Gates implicated himself in a vast amount of criminal conduct on the stand, an apparent strategic decision by prosecutors as they hoped to take some of the steam out of the defense's questioning.

Laporta admitted on the witness stand last Friday that during a conference call in September 2015, she agreed, on Gates' urging, to alter a tax document for one of Manafort's businesses in order to disguise $900,000 in foreign income as a loan, according to the Associated Press, thus reducing Manafort's tax burden by almost half a million dollars.

HuffPost Illustration/Getty Images Rick Gates.

"I have made many mistakes over many years", Gates, 46, replied.

With a nod to linguistic differences for what Americans refer to as an apartment, Downing pressed: "As part of your secret life did you maintain a flat - is that what they call it? - in London?" Gates said that these loans were actually income.

Paul Manafort was concerned after a 2014 Federal Bureau of Investigation interview that one of the companies used to pay the former Trump campaign chairman for his Ukrainian political consulting work wasn't "clean". Manafort also included Calk on a list he emailed to Gates of people he wanted to invite to Trump's inauguration.

"No, I did not", Gates responded. He frequently used the phrases "It's possible" and "I don't recall" as Downing challenged him about inconsistencies in testimony he gave to the special counsel's office. Stephen Gillers, a professor of legal ethics and evidence at New York University, said the judge was right to make a corrective statement to the jurors. "The filing specifically asks Ellis to tell the jury he was wrong when he chastised prosecutors Wednesday". "Did you provide false information or did you have a bad memory?" he asked.

"I would be surprised, given what's occurred in the Manafort trial, if Judge Ellis didn't issue this relatively standard instruction", Abramson said.

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Gates admitted during testimony on Monday to embezzling money from Manafort.

Defense lawyer Kevin Downing guided Gates on a tour through the wide array of lies he's told, and sought to paint him as a man not to be trusted. "But I want you to remember don't do that again".

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.

The veteran Republican operative is not on trial for anything he did while serving for three months in 2016 as chairman of Trump's presidential campaign. He was aware that Manafort was acting as an unregistered foreign agent in lobbying for Ukraine, he said.

But prosecutor Greg Andres followed up by suggesting that Gates and Manafort were not fully truthful.

Defence lawyers saw an opening to undermine his testimony by painting him as a liar and a philanderer, getting him to acknowledge an extramarital affair and reminding jurors how he had lied to Mueller's team while working out a plea deal for himself. "Mr Manafort worked with the local political officials and helped implement policy initiatives based on the campaign promises".

Magionos said she reviewed documents spanning from 2010 to 2014 from the Bank of Cyprus, Hellenic Bank, Royal Bank and HSBC Group AG accounts in the United Kingdom.

"I'm here. I'm trying to change", he said.

"Was he having difficulty paying his bills?" The judge appeared to sustain the objection because Gates never answered the question.