Published: Fri, August 10, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Witness recounts how Manafort lied to get bank loans

Witness recounts how Manafort lied to get bank loans

While Trump has not played a significant role in the trial, Gates testified on Tuesday that after the election, Manafort recommended a banker who had loaned him money to be Trump's Army secretary. He also has repeatedly made comments that some legal experts said may prejudice the jury against the prosecution.

That's important to prosecutors, who need to not only prove Manafort skimped on paying millions of dollars in taxes.

Defense attorney Kevin Downing asked whether Gates' "secret life" - four affairs over the course of five years - happened during the same time he embezzled funds from Manafort.

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

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

Gates' ongoing testimony on Tuesday - the sixth day of Manafort's fraud trial - came one day after he testified that he'd committed crimes with Manafort.

The federal judge in the trial of U.S. President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort expressed contrition on Thursday to jurors after berating prosecutors for allowing a witness to watch the proceedings, despite having given his earlier approval.

A court filing was submitted on Thursday to remind Ellis that he previously allowed Welch to attend the trial, and the prosecution team also asked him to tell the jury he was wrong to accuse the government of improper conduct.

When the jury is dismissed to deliberate, they will decide whether it was Manafort, Gates or both. His defence team is seeking to pin the blame on Gates, who they say was responsible for day-to-day operations of the business.

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Paul Manafort's former accountant was sacked from a Virginia firm after she told the court she was aware that Manafort's tax returns contained false information.

Prosecutors sought to soften the blow of the cross-examination by asking Gates to acknowledge his own crimes, including a lie to Mueller's team in February.

On Wednesday, after eliciting an admission from Gates that his plea agreement could be thrown out if he lied, leading to further charges, Downing asked him if had told the Special Counsel "that you actually engaged in four extramarital affairs?" They made a mistake when they confirmed me.

"But like any human, and this robe doesn't make me anything other than human, I sometimes make mistakes".

In applying for the loan, Manafort claimed the property was a second home, but prosecutors introduced as evidence a 2015 tax return indicating the property generated about $100,000 in rental income.

Manafort's conviction would undermine efforts by Trump and some Republican lawmakers to paint Mueller's inquiry as a political witch hunt, while an acquittal would be a setback for Mueller.

Ellis lost his cool at the start of Special Agent Michael Welch's testimony, after the government witness said he had been in the courtroom for some of the trial. After a back-and-forth discussion about how much income should be reclassified as a loan to aid Manafort, they settled on $900,000, she testified. And the fact that after loaning Manafort millions of dollars Calk became an economic adviser to Trump casts doubt on Trump's famous pledge to "drain the swamp" and puncture the rampant influence peddling in Washington. He finished his testimony Wednesday, Day 7 of the trial. "I'm not very patient, so don't try my patience", Ellis said.

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?"

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