Star witness ends testimony in fraud trial of ex-Trump campaign chief

Frustrated Manafort emailed Gates WTF

Paul Manafort's associate says 'hundreds' of emails prove former Trump campaign chief directed fraud

After saying Monday that he committed crimes with Manafort, including concealing offshore accounts to avoid reporting them to the USA government at tax time and claiming false income to get loans, Manafort defense attorney Kevin Downing asked the witness, "This jury is just supposed to believe you after all the lies that you've told and the fraud you've committed?"

Gates told the court in Alexandria, Virginia, that he had met with government lawyer Greg Andres and Federal Bureau of Investigation agents 20 times and been told only to tell the truth, without any guarantee that he will be spared prison.

The questioning of Paul Manafort's protege during the political consultant's financial fraud trial has turned confrontational and personal, focusing on Rick Gates' own crimes as well as an extramarital affair and a plea agreement.

After Mr Gates described his theft as "unauthorised transactions" instead of embezzlement, Mr Downing prodded him to use the latter term - and Mr Gates ultimately relented, saying: "It was embezzlement from Mr Manafort". They have tried several times to impugn his credibility before the jury. They made a mistake when they confirmed me.

Gates laying out a roadmap on how he and Manafort allegedly dodged US taxes. after admitting Monday they committed numerous crimes as business partners.

Numerous jurors have diligently taken notes throughout the proceedings, peering down into small monitors in front of them to scrutinize bank and tax documents.

During the first two days of his testimony, Gates admitted to shielding millions of dollars in over a dozen offshore accounts from United States tax collections - all at Manafort's direction.

His actions came under scrutiny as part of the broader investigation into the Trump campaign and Russian interference in the 2016 election run by Mueller.

Gates pleaded guilty in February and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors under a deal that could lead to a reduced sentence. Gates testified that Manafort asked him to float Calk, who was on Trump's economic advisory council, for Secretary of the Army.

On the seventh day of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's criminal trial, the prosecution wasn't ready to rest.

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Manafort, 69, a veteran Republican political operative, was Trump's campaign chairman from May to August 2016, when he was forced to step down amid questions about his work for Ukraine's former pro-Russian leader Viktor Yanukovych. Manafort's defence team's has tried to pin much of the blame for financial crimes on Gates and raise doubts about his ethics and morals.

Gates, meanwhile, wearing dark blue suit, white shirt and red tie, cut a lonely figure at the witness stand, blinking hard.

The face-off between longtime business associates and former senior members of the Trump campaign drew scores of people who waited in line for hours outside the courthouse and then jammed into both the courtroom and an overflow room that contained a video feed of the proceedings. Courtroom illustration courtesy of Bill Hennessy.

The accountant testified she was unaware if the loan was recognized as income or ever paid back.

However, the judge was more conciliatory Thursday. In a heated moment under cross examination by attorney Kevin Downing, Gates acknowledged that it is "possible" he submitted personal expenses for reimbursement from the committee.

Gates, a former business partner of Manafort, testified that he began working with Manafort directly in October 2006, and the pair conspired between 2008 and 2015. He also said Manafort should have reported multiple foreign bank accounts to the IRS in those years.

"The Ukrainians", Gates said, adding a layer to his statement Tuesday that he had stolen "Mr. Manafort's money".

In February, Gates admitted to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and engaging in a conspiracy against the United States.

Mr Downing forced Gates to admit he had stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars from Manafort by filing bogus personal expenses claims and that he had engaged in an extramarital affair and kept an apartment in London for that objective.

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