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Six bombshells from Rick Gates' testimony in the Paul Manafort trial

10 August 2018

Special counsel Robert Mueller's team has repeatedly clashed in the Paul Manafort case with the Judge T.S. Ellis, who has refused to let prosecutors display photos of Manafort's luxury purchases, urged them to hurry up their questions and has even reprimanded one lawyer for being impolite and not looking at the judge while speaking to him.

Prosecutors in Paul Manafort's financial fraud trial say they have eight witnesses left and expect to rest their case Friday.

Gates faces more cross-examination Wednesday in federal court in Alexandria, Va. Manafort is accused of overseeing an elaborate offshore tax-evasion and bank fraud scheme, and Gates has offered a first-hand account of its workings.

Ellis had chastised the prosecution for allowing IRS agent Michael Welch to be present during court proceedings before taking his turn to testify.

"I am here to tell the truth and to take responsibility for my actions. I'm not very patient, so don't try my patience", Ellis said.

But in reality, Manafort rented out the Howard Street loft on Airbnb for more than a year - as an "Amazing full floor loft in SoHo" - and still had a mortgage on the Brooklyn brownstone, James said. His defence team is seeking to pin the blame on Gates, who they say was responsible for day-to-day operations of the business. That, Downing said, would invalidate his plea deal.

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".

Paul Manafort lied about the status of his two properties in NY in order to fraudulently obtain a $3.4 million loan, according to testimony Thursday.

In testimony Tuesday, Gates acknowledged embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from Manafort and carrying on an extramarital affair.

So frequent were Gates's crimes that he could not answer definitively when asked if he had stolen money from the Trump inauguration committee, for which he served as deputy chairman.

CNN reported Thursday that the filing referred to a conversation between trial attorneys and the judge after Manafort attorney Kevin Downing asked Gates, "Were you interviewed on several occasions about your time at the Trump campaign?"

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More broadly, this trial is a direct result of the special counsel's investigation into the Trump's campaign contacts with Russian Federation. "But Mr. Manafort was a longtime client of the firm, and I didn't think I should do that". "Pls (sic) make the five transfers listed below from the Leviathan account and confirm to me when completed", Manafort wrote.

"I think the jury will hate (Gates), but they should still convict (Manafort) because of the testimony of other witnesses and the other documents that do put all of this on Manafort".

He said if Ellis feels that negatively about the prosecution, then he should keep those feelings to himself or he shouldn't be on the case.

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

During the testimony, Manafort did not stare Gates down as he did Monday.

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.

Gates also said that when their political work in Ukraine dried up in 2015, Manafort had difficulty paying his bills and had no other clients at that time.

Gates' testimony concluded Wednesday following three days worth of questioning, during which he detailed how he and Manafort had 15 undisclosed foreign bank accounts and falsifying bank accounts.

Mr Gates testified he and Mr Manafort knew they were committing crimes for years, saying they had stashed money in foreign bank accounts and falsified bank loan documents.

Manafort, who helped Republicans Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan reach the White House, was Mr Trump's campaign chairman from May to August 2016.

Six bombshells from Rick Gates' testimony in the Paul Manafort trial