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Published: Wed, August 08, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Manafort trial defense lawyer attacks ex-aide Gates' credibility

Manafort trial defense lawyer attacks ex-aide Gates' credibility

Gates said he was acting at "Mr. Manafort's direction" when he told tax preparers that it was. Gates also provided the first witness testimony that overlaps with Donald Trump's presidential campaign.

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Judge T.S. Ellis III then asked Gates to clarify if those "loans" were actually just income-specifically payment for services-earned and not declared by Manafort.

The defense highlighted the terms of the deal Gates received for testifying in the bank and tax fraud case against Manafort on charges that stem from special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russian Federation probe MORE's Russian Federation investigation.

Gates said Manafort ordered him to deal with accountants and hide cushy payments from his consulting work with pro-Russia politicians in Ukraine as loans. The funds were logged as loans in order to meet later audits in Cyprus that required documentation of transfers between bank accounts, but Gates testified they were in fact compensation to Manafort. Gates said he was there to tell the truth and accept responsibility.

Undercutting Gates' credibility is the foundation of Manafort's defense. Prosecutors had previously said that Manafort's interactions with Calk were the only part of the trial expected to overlap with his Trump campaign role. This kept the scheme mostly hidden from accountants and bookkeepers-though immunized witness Cynthia Laporta earlier testified that she had her doubts about the veracity of Manafort's and Gates's representations surrounding the loans.

Gates, replying to a question by Downing, also said "it's possible" that he submitted personal expenses to be reimbursed by the inaugural committee.

The heated exchange was the courtroom drama many had been waiting for.

Rick Gates clarified various aspects of the government's case against his former boss Paul Manafort during extensive direct testimony on Tuesday.

In applying for a loan from Banc of California, Gates said the income from Manafort's company was inflated by $6 million.

After hours of cross-examination of the prosecution's star witness, Manafort's lawyer offered this assessment: "Mr. Manafort had a great day". Though Manafort left the Trump campaign in August 2016, Gates stayed on, and eventually joined the Trump administration's transition team. Instead, he glanced up at his former protege periodically but mostly studied documents displayed for the jury on a screen in front of him. The firm's director was known to Manafort and Gates as "Doctor K". Gates also worked on the campaign.

"I'm not sure I told them that or not", Gates replied.

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