Special counsel's star witness testifies he committed crimes with Paul Manafort

Rick Gates leaves federal court in Washington. Paul Manafort’s trial opened this week with a display of his opulent lifestyle and testimony about what prosecutors say were years of financial deception. But the

Rick Gates Testifies That He Committed Crimes With Paul Manafort

Gates' testimony on the trial's sixth day was part of the prosecution's effort to prove that Manafort was responsible for financial maneuverings that he and other witnesses have testified include filing false tax returns and failing to report foreign bank accounts.

"At Mr. Manafort's request. we did not disclose the foreign bank accounts".

"Gates is going to do and say whatever the prosecutors want him to say, which is why I wouldn't believe a word that comes out of his mouth", Kerik said in a Tuesday morning tweet. Manafort's trial is the first trial associated with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Trump's ties to Russian Federation.

Gates, Manafort's long-time business partner, is expected to face a tough cross-examination later on Tuesday by defense lawyers in the first trial to arise from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US election.

His testimony drew scores of people, who waited in line for hours outside the courthouse and then packed both the courtroom and an overflow room that contained a video feed of the proceedings.

Gates said that he helped create documents to convert some income to a loan to lower Manafort's tax bill.

Gates also copped to inflating Manafort's income in doctored financial statements he provided to banks where Manafort was applying for loans once DMP's revenue stream from Ukraine dried up in 2014.

"Did you commit any crimes with Mr. Manafort?"

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.

While Mueller's charge is investigating the nature and extent of the Russian government's alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election, he was presented a broad mandate by then-Acting, now-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to investigate "any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation".

Kathleen Manafort center wife of Paul Manafort walks to the Alexandria Federal Courthouse in Alexandria Va. Monday Aug. 6 2018 for his trial on tax evasion and bank fraud
Manafort trial: Star witness testifies against ex-Trump aide

On Monday, U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis repeatedly clashed with prosecutors about the relevance of such testimony and once again urged them to speed things along.

Ellis said all that's relevant is that Manafort was paid and whether he hid the income from the IRS. Ellis told Andres, "I understand how frustrated you are".

"When we try to describe the work, Your Honor stops us and tell us to move on", he said. Gates agreed to flip on his former boss in exchange for leniency.

He said that some of Manafort's income was disguised as loans from 15 shell companies that Manafort controlled, majority in Cyprus.

Gates is considered the "star witness" of the trial, which is in its second week.

Four Ukrainian oligarchs funneled money to Manafort's accounts from their own shell companies in Cyprus, Gates testified.

On Friday, a tax preparer named Cindy Laporta admitted that she helped disguise $900,000 in foreign income as a loan in order to reduce Manafort's tax burden. Gates has accepted a plea deal to testify against Manafort, who is facing 18 charges, including tax fraud, bank fraud and money laundering.

Manafort's defense hinges on convincing a jury that it was Gates, not Manafort, who committed all of these crimes, and that Manafort is a victim of Gates.

Rick Gates will continue his testimony today. Gates said that at Manafort's request, he sent a 2015 insurance policy for the home that did not list a mortgage on the home, even though the more current 2016 insurance policy noted the mortgage.

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