Published: Wed, August 08, 2018
Worldwide | By Stella Potter

Gates wraps testimony, says he made 'mistakes'

Gates wraps testimony, says he made 'mistakes'

It is possible Weissmann is preparing to Manafort's next trial in D.C. - which touches on issues similar to those in Virginia but delves more deeply into Manafort's work in Ukraine and the USA registration requirements associated with it. Weissmann made a filing in that case as recently as Monday.

Manafort's lawyers are determined to impugn the credibility of Gates, who pleaded guilty in Mueller's investigation and agreed to cooperate with investigators by testifying in the financial fraud trial.

"After all the lies you've told, and the fraud you've committed, you expect the jury will believe you?" He scoffed at the idea that Gates had repented for his actions, noting that prosecutors have said they won't oppose his bid for probation and getting him to acknowledge he had not repaid the money he had taken from Manafort.

When Downing got up for another round of questions, he asked Gates about his description of the relationship as "a" mistake. U.S. District court Judge T.S. Ellis III presides.

Gates appeared shaky at times in answering questions, contrasting sharply with his firm and clear answers to questions by prosecutors.

Gates testified that he engaged in an extensive criminal conspiracy with Manafort that lasted seven years and included lying to the Internal Revenue Service to avoid paying taxes and providing false documents to banks to obtains millions of dollars in loans.

Kevin Downing, an attorney for Manafort, accused Gates of having a "separate, secret life" with his lover in London and of using business expenses to pay for the affair, including an apartment in London. He also admitted to embezzling money from other employers in the past. The defense moved on.

He also said Manafort had asked him to disguise income as loans.

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


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

Prosecutors summoned Gates, described by witnesses as Manafort's "right-hand man, " to give jurors the first-hand account of a co-conspirator they say helped Manafort carry out an elaborate offshore tax-evasion and bank fraud scheme. Manafort business partner Rick Gates testified Tuesday that it was Weissmann who confronted him about a lie he had told special counsel investigators, and it was Weissmann who told him he would have to admit to that lie in an additional charge to keep his plea deal with the special counsel's office alive. But he was consistent in saying he was now telling the truth and that there was a "strong record" to support his key assertions: that Manafort directed him to hide money from the IRS and fake financial documents to get bank loans. "In reality, it was basically money moving between accounts", Gates said.

Manafort, a former Trump campaign chairman, has pleaded not guilty to 18 counts of bank and tax fraud and failing to disclose foreign bank accounts.

Prosecutors showed contracts laying out that Manafort would be paid $4 million a year in quarterly installments of $1 million, all channeled through Cyprus. The email exchange occurred after Manafort left the Trump campaign but while Gates was active on the Trump inauguration committee.

Manafort's accountant was asked about a purported $10 million loan from Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska.

Andres followed up: "Did Mr Manafort know?"

Mr Gates told jurors that he had been "tasked" by his boss "to determine how we could lower the taxes".

In one email, Manafort wrote "WTF" and "not happy" about tax payments he was going to have to make, Gates said.

Gates converted the 2015 DMP P&L to a Word document for Manafort, but there were spacing, font, and other discrepancies between that copy and the original. However, Gates also said the agents did not ask about tax returns and "the majority of the Cypriot accounts were closed" at the stage. "Mr. Manafort had the same path". When Gates had prepared the transaction, he would run the final logistics by Manafort.

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