Paul Manafort trial Day 7

Paul Manafort trial Day 7

Paul Manafort trial Day 7

He spoke in federal court in Virginia when Manafort pleaded not guilty to bank and tax fraud charges there, and defense attorneys accused him of leaking information to the press on Manafort before joining the special counsel's office.

Gates said he falsely labeled hundreds of thousands of dollars in income as loans to reduce Manafort's tax liability.

The 46-year-old, who has pleaded guilty to conspiracy and is cooperating with the government, began the day by describing how he helped Manafort evade USA taxes on millions of dollars earned from political consulting work they did in Ukraine.

Once Gates finished testifying, prosecutors returned to trying to make their case through documentary evidence to demonstrate Manafort's control of offshore bank accounts containing millions of dollars. He's expected to go for at least another hour in questioning with Manafort's attorney's.

Gates admitted to stealing from Manafort, but he said he did not know how much money he took.

Prosecutors will likely draw Gates back to those facts and away from his own misbehavior on redirect examination.

"Do you remember telling the office of the special counsel you actually engaged in four extramarital affairs?"

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

Prosecutor Greg Andres pointed out he had created a "loan forgiveness letter between Mr. Manafort and Mr. Manafort".

Gates is cooperating in hopes of a lighter prison sentence.

At first, Gates merely noted that in March 2016 Manafort hired him to work for "one of the presidential candidates". "I regret it, clearly, and I'm taking responsibility for it", he said. But prosecutors dropped charges against Gates after the former business partner took a plea deal and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.

According to Gates, Manafort, who had by then left the campaign, asked Gates in various ways to use his position on Trump's team to do favors for Stephen Calk, a banker who had loaned Manafort millions of dollars - loans that Mueller's team alleges were consummated under false pretenses.

The case against Manafort has little to do with either man's work for the Trump campaign and there's been no discussion during the trial about whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russian Federation - the central question Mueller's team has tried to answer. Gates testified that he'd followed Manafort's instructions as they set up Cypriot and other foreign bank accounts, moved money from Ukrainians into the USA, made sure Manafort's name was scrubbed from the accounts, then lied to the IRS and banks.

In the six days since the trial began, the jury has heard from 15 witnesses including two of Manafort's former accountants and his former bookkeeper. Mr Downing asked Gates.

He has pleaded guilty to helping Manafort hide payments from Manafort's consulting work with pro-Russia politicians in Ukraine to dodge taxes. Downing said that the question, which came one day after Gates admitted to having a single affair ten years ago, was relevant because it could prove that Gates had lied to investigators.

Paul Manafort's protégé on Wednesday wrapped up his testimony after implicating the former Trump campaign chairman and himself in financial crimes and also enduring stinging attacks on his character and credibility.

Gates, who also worked on Trump's campaign, is the star witness against Manafort.

Although the allegations of collusion between Donald Trump and Russian Federation are not at issue in this trial, any significant blows to the government's case are likely be seized on by the president's defenders, including conservative media, to support his contention that Mueller's investigation is a "rigged witch-hunt". "We need to discuss Steve Calk for Sec (retary) of the Army", Manafort wrote to Gates in an email on November 24, 2016.

Downing seized on those admissions to try and cast doubt on whether the jury can trust Gates' claims that he only carried out the fraud alleged by prosecutors at Manafort's behest.

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