Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Rick Gates' trustworthiness questioned in Paul Manafort trial

Rick Gates' trustworthiness questioned in Paul Manafort trial Rick Gates' trustworthiness questioned in Paul Manafort trial
Patty Aguilar | 09 August, 2018, 19:38

Lawyers for Manafort used the opportunity to scrutinize Gates' personal foibles, asking if he had a "secret life" from 2010 to 2014.

Gates' earlier testimony on Tuesday, meanwhile, centered on how Ukrainian businessmen paid Manafort for his consultancy work.

HuffPost Illustration/Getty Images Paul Manafort.

Yesterday was particularly heated in what Politico described as "a series of prickly clashes in which Ellis snapped at one of special counsel Robert Mueller's prosecutors". Did Gates, Andres asked, have any doubt that the special counsel would "rip up your plea agreement" if he lied on the stand?

Under questioning, Gates said he may have submitted personal expenses for reimbursement by Trump's inaugural committee, which he helped operate.

"Do you remember telling the office of the special counsel you actually engaged in four extramarital affairs?"

Manafort's political work included advising Viktor Yanukovich on policy after he won the Ukrainian presidency, Gates said.

Speaking of Ellis, the 78-year-old U.S. District Court judge overseeing the Eastern Virginia trial renewed his angry tone with prosecutors Wednesday.

HuffPost Illustration/Getty Images Rick Gates. And Manafort made millions of dollars working as a political consultant for a pro-Russia party in Ukraine before he worked for the Trump campaign, which could raise questions about Trump's friendly rhetoric towards the country.

In February, Gates admitted to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and engaging in a conspiracy against the United States.

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Manafort, 69, is the first defendant to go to court to fight charges stemming from Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Gates struck a deal with special counsel Robert Mueller in February, pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy against the United States and one count of making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

While Gates and others have pleaded guilty, Manafort has refused to strike a deal and legal experts say he may be holding out hopes of a pardon from Trump.

But the defense team has taken on the the daunting task of convincing jurors that Gates, who was in constant communication with Manafort and carrying out his wishes, is an unreliable witness who had simply gone rogue and independently chose to boost his boss' personal income over a period of several years. The last gasp of the defense team's attacks landed with one final accusation in front of the jury: that Gates had cheated on his wife several times over the years.

Gates admitted during testimony on Monday to embezzling money from Manafort.

In general, references to Trump at the trial have been few and far between.

Manafort couldn't have followed his income "that closely" since Gates had "stolen" hundreds of thousands of dollars from him, Ellis said. After a sidebar with the judge, Downing moved onto another topic.

He barked at U.S. Attorney Greg Andres to "focus sharply" - a common refrain of his over the past week - when Andres asked permission for Magionos to testify about charts she put together detailing the flow of money from Manafort's foreign accounts to various vendors in the U.S.

When Yanukovych lost power, Gates testified that "decreased the income stream" significantly for Manafort, and his financial situation "substantially decreased" from prior years. Unable to keep up with his bills, he was on the verge of financial ruin. James also said she received outdated insurance documents noting that another property did not have a mortgage out on it, even though more current insurance documents listed the mortgage.

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