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‘Secret life’: Rick Gates forced to reveal affair at Manafort trial
09 August 2018, 08:24 | Glen Norman
‘Secret life’: Rick Gates forced to reveal affair at Manafort trial
Manafort was chairman of Donald Trump's presidential campaign, and his longtime deputy was part of the campaign, too.
Mr Gates, the prosecution's star witness, recounted how he and Mr Manafort used offshore shell companies and bank accounts in Cyprus to funnel the money, all while failing to declare the income to the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS). His defence team is seeking to pin the blame on Gates, who they say was responsible for day-to-day operations of the business. You told me you were on top of this.
Cindy Laporta, a tax accountant for Manafort, testified Monday under immunity that she helped file falsified bank loan applications for him even though she knew they were inaccurate. 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.
The case against Manafort has little 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 coordinated with Russian Federation - the central question Mueller's team has tried to answer.
Paul Manafort's former "right-hand man" admitted Tuesday that he embezzled from their consulting firm, engaged in fraud, lied to the special counsel, and conducted an worldwide extramarital affair. Gates was asked about 11 Cypriot accounts, and he testified that they were all owned by Ukrainian businessmen.
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Gates, who had been on stand for more than seven hours by conclusion of Tuesday's testimony, is anticipated to be on stand for an additional hour more of cross-examination, according to Manafort's attorneys. But then prosecutor Greg Andres invoked Trump's name, and Gates' and Manafort's work on the campaign became more explicitly tied to the alleged crimes at the heart of the trial.
Gates said under questioning Wednesday that he told Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and Justice Department lawyers about some of the offshore companies that contained millions of dollars in proceeds from their Ukrainian political work.
The case is being prosecuted by the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 USA presidential election.
He badgered Gates into admitting that he had engaged in an extramarital affair with a woman in London roughly 10 years ago and briefly questioned Gates about three other affairs before prosecutors objected. He pleaded guilty to charges in February and is cooperating for the possibility of a reduced sentence.
FBI forensic accountant Morgan Magionos walked jurors through her special counsel-ordained investigation that revealed how Manafort purchased luxury goods back in the USA through foreign bank accounts.
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Downing also asked Gates if he had submitted personal expenses to President Donald Trump's inaugural committee.
Earlier Tuesday, Gates told the court that Manafort would frequently pay for clothing, landscaping and other personal expenses using wire transfers directly from his bank accounts in Cyprus and others in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Downing also asked whether Mueller's investigators had interviewed Gates about his role in the campaign, prompting an objection from prosecutors and a sidebar conference with U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III. Did Gates, Andres asked, have any doubt that the special counsel would "rip up your plea agreement" if he lied on the stand?
Manafort is accused of filing fraudulent information to secure $16 million in loans from Calk's bank.
Gates said prosecutors agreed not to pursue charges on those matters, and dropped a second indictment against him accusing him of bank and tax fraud. "Mr Manafort had the same path". This was a way to decrease Manafort's taxable income, added Gates, who did not report the money to Manafort's book-keeper or accountants.
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Her testimony "clearly represents that she failed to meet the firm's high standards for professional and ethical conduct in her work for Mr. Manafort", Laporta's firm Kositzka, Wicks & Co., said.
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