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Prosecutors Turn Toward Manafort's Alleged Bank Fraud In 2016
09 August 2018, 11:19 | Erica Roy
Manafort defense asks Gates about additional extramarital affairs
The drama came at the end of Gates's testimony in the trial of his former boss and mentor Manafort, an ex-Donald Trump campaign chairman accused of bank fraud and tax evasion.
Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort departs from U.S. District Court in Washington, DC, U.S., February 28, 2018.
In an email shown to the jury, Manafort, the former campaign chairman for President Donald Trump, wrote to Gates on November 24, 2016, "We need to discuss Steve Calk for Sec of Army".
Paul Manafort hid more than 30 offshore accounts in three types of currencies from the IRS, according to an Federal Bureau of Investigation forensic accountant testifying in the former Trump campaign chairman's trial.
Manafort's defense team's primary strategy has been to pin much of the blame for financial crimes on Gates, and some observers felt Downing made some headway toward that goal on Tuesday.
Prosecutor Greg Andres asked Gates on Wednesday whether Mueller's team had told him how to answer questions.
Gates conceded it was "in excess of 50 to 100 years", but said any eventual sentence - including avoiding jail by receiving probation - would be up to a judge. There have been exceptions, like when Gates said that he might have also embezzled from the Trump inauguration committee by inflating his expenses, and when he testified about how Manafort reached out to talk about securing a banker who loaned him money tickets to the inauguration and potentially a position in the administration.
"Were these payments for your secret life?"
Mr Gates said he did, but the defence lawyer wasn't satisfied. They made a mistake when they confirmed me. Before the final bang - or was it a whimper? - prosecutors had their own opportunity Wednesday morning to revisit with Gates exactly what he had done by way of financial crimes, and the steep, lifelong outcome of prison time he could face if he told the jury inaccuracies about Manafort.
"After all the lies you've told and the fraud you've committed, you expect this jury to believe you?"
During cross examination, Manafort's attorneys pointed out Gates' extramarital affairs, including a woman in London who may have had a hand in the financial crimes Gates to which admitted, Politico reported. "I'm not very patient, so don't try my patience", Ellis said.
In a final back and forth between lawyers over Gates's credibility, the focus turned to his decision to plead guilty and cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, which Manafort's defence have portrayed as an attempt to save his own skin.
The trial in federal court, which finished its seventh day on Wednesday, is the first stemming from Mueller's probe into Russian involvement in the 2016 US presidential election.
Manafort was chairman of Donald Trump's presidential campaign, and his longtime deputy was part of the campaign, too.
The jury has heard how Manafort made tens of millions of dollars working for pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine.
"Those appear to be substantially different, don't they?" defense attorney Richard Westling asked Magionos, showing her Manafort's signatures on a loan application to the Bank of California and one of the foreign banking documents.
Gates said he falsely labeled hundreds of thousands of dollars in income as loans to reduce Manafort's tax liability.
Federal Bureau of Investigation forensic accountant Morgan Magionos used charts, emails from Manafort to his lawyers in Cyprus, and other corroborating documents to detail how Manafort funneled roughly $15 million from hidden offshore accounts to purchase home electronic installations, real estate, fancy clothing, such as the now-infamous $15,000 ostrich-skin jacket, and other luxuries from 2010 to 2014.
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