Rick Gates Testifies Against Former Mentor Paul Manafort in Special Counsel Trial

Rick Gates Testifies Against Former Mentor Paul Manafort in Special Counsel Trial

Rick Gates Testifies Against Former Mentor Paul Manafort in Special Counsel Trial

He was explicit at multiple points about Manafort's agency in the crimes, saying he lied to accountants "at Mr. Manafort's request", that he told those accountants Manafort didn't control any foreign bank accounts (which the prosecution says he did) "at Mr. Manafort's direction", and that Manafort "directed" him to categorize some income as loans in order to reduce his taxable income.

Manafort also told him to wire some of his political consulting income to his bank accounts in the United States, Gates added.

Money from the Ukraine work dried up after pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych was forced from power in 2014, Gates testified. His case is the first to go to trial arising from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US election.

Prosecutors showed contracts laying out that Manafort would be paid $4 million a year in quarterly installments of $1 million, all channeled through Cyprus.

Gates is testifying in Manafort's trial on bank and tax fraud charges in a packed federal courtroom in Alexandria, Virginia, in a case stemming from the special counsel's investigation.

Manafort has pleaded not guilty to 18 counts of bank and tax fraud and failing to disclose foreign bank accounts. Klimnik is a Russian-Ukrainian political consultant who was indicted in June on charges stemming from the Mueller probe.

Gates told jurors that he siphoned off the money without Manafort's knowledge by filing false expense reports. Prosecutors still said they estimate having about three more hours of questions for Gates on Tuesday before cross examination can begin.

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When the trial broke for lunch Tuesday, Manafort looked back at his wife, sitting in the front row, smiled and winked at her, followed by a quick shake of his head, seeming to indicate he was unfazed or unbothered by the morning's testimony.

The case against Manafort has nothing to do with either man's work for the Trump campaign and there's been no discussion during the trial about whether the Trump campaign co-ordinated with Russian Federation - the central question Mueller's team has tried to answer.

Gates, who typically sports a beard but appeared in court clean-shaven, said he had conspired with Manafort to underreport Manafort's income on his tax returns and hide overseas accounts.

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.

The trial opened last week with a display of Manafort's opulent lifestyle, then progressed into testimony about what prosecutors say were years of financial deception.

Gates is expected to testify for several hours Tuesday and then face a bruising cross-examination as defence lawyers try to undercut his credibility and pin the blame on him. But while Laporta acknowledged that she regularly communicated with Gates, she said she believed Manafort was in the know.

"In most instances, it was clear that Mr. Manafort knew what was going on", she said. A letter backdated to 2015 was signed by a member of the law firm that ran Manafort's Cypriot accounts, Gates said. It is alleged that Manafort earned millions of dollars, which he neglected to declare to the authorities.

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