Rick Gates returns to witness stand to detail Manafort’s finances

Rick Gates Testifies That He Committed Crimes With Paul Manafort

Rick Gates, Manafort's former partner in crime (literally, it turns out), took the stand to detail the many shady sides of the worldwide lobbying business he helped the ex-superlobbyist run for years.

Manafort and Gates were the first two people indicted in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into potential ties between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.

As Gates testified in a calm, dispassionate way about the crimes he says he and Manafort committed together (as well as crimes he says Manafort didn't know about, including embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from him), Manafort appeared to be looking directly at his former colleague.

The jury heard how Mr Manafort made tens of millions of dollars for political work with pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine. They were the first two people indicted by Mueller's grand jury. While outside the scope of the trial, Mueller is also investigating whether Trump campaign members coordinated with Russian officials, an allegation President Donald Trump denies.

Gates said that Manafort told him to get in touch with Philip Ayliff, one of Manafort's tax accountants, but Gates said he could only reach Cindy LaPorta, another accountant who received immunity to testify last week.

He has also sought to blame Mr Gates for the crimes. The prosecution, however, has maintained that while Gates committed embezzlement, that doesn't make Manafort any less guilty of the crimes he's accused of.

Gates said he first met Manafort at a Christmas party in 1995 when Gates was an intern at the lobbying firm, Black, Manafort, Stone and Kelly, where Manafort was a partner.

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In the telling of Manafort's legal team, any problems with his financial paperwork were either mistakes or the fault of Gates, who they say was stealing from Manafort and is now cooperating with investigators to cover his tracks.

Gates, who also served in a senior role in Donald Trump's presidential campaign, is expected to face aggressive cross-examination once prosecutors are finished questioning him.

Testimony from Mr Manafort's tax preparer continued on Monday. Manafort then paid Gates out of Cryprus-based bank accounts illegally concealed from the United States government, Gates testified, according to CNN crime and justice reporter Shimon Prokupecz.

"In Cyprus, they were documented as loans". But Trump has shown interest in the proceedings, tweeting support for Manafort and suggesting that he had been treated worse than gangster Al Capone.

During Manafort's trial, Greg D. Andres and other prosecutors have tried to illustrate the corrupt nature of the Ukrainian politicians and oligarchs Manafort worked with-and Judge T.S. Ellis has discouraged such testimony. Gates (who agreed to around five years in prison and perhaps probation as part of the plea agreement) even mentioned that he violated bail conditions by coming home 15 minutes late one night.

"There were no FBARs in FinCEN's system of record", Liss said, indicating that Manafort and his tax preparers did not disclose any of the more than 30 bank accounts owned by his offshore shell companies to the IRS on his tax returns. But while Laporta acknowledged that she regularly communicated with Gates, she said she believed Manafort was in the know.

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