Published: Tue, August 07, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Rick Gates: I Committed Crimes With Paul Manafort

Rick Gates: I Committed Crimes With Paul Manafort

Rick Gates, Paul Manafort's former right hand man, has been called to testify in the trial the former chairman of Donald Trump's presidential campaign.

Prosecutors have been preparing for this credibility battle by asking a number of witnesses speak to Manafort's role as a supervisor over Gates.

Notably, after urging prosecutors to speed things along as jurors heard from 14 witnesses last week, U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III said late on August 3 that Downing could begin his questioning of Laporta on Monday and wouldn't rush him.

The jury has heard how Manafort made tens of millions of dollars for political work with pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine.

According to multiple news outlets, Gates was asked on Monday if he was involved in criminal activity when working with Manafort.

Gates did not make eye contact with Manafort as he took the stand wearing a yellow tie and navy blue suit.

In stunning testimony at Manafort's trial on tax and fraud charges, Gates stated he and Manafort had 15 foreign accounts they did not report to the federal government, and knew it was illegal.

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Rick Gates has been regarded as a crucial government witness ever since he pleaded guilty past year and agreed to cooperate in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

The contents of those emails - and how Gates interprets them before the court - could help either save or sink Manafort.

When asked why had lied, he told prosecutors he had done so at Mr Manafort's request.

Prosecutors surprised Judge T.S. Ellis last Wednesday when Uzo Asonye, a special counsel attorney, suggested that Gates "may not" take the stand. The alleged crimes occurred before Manafort's time on the Trump campaign, and while the special counsel's mandate is to investigate possible foreign interference in the 2016 elections, Mueller was given latitude to pursue other potential crimes that arose during the course of his investigation.

But Mr Manafort is not charged with helping the Kremlin.

Prosecutors allege that Manafort financed a lavish lifestyle featuring sumptuous residences and extravagant wardrobes by using millions of dollars in profits that he hid from tax authorities then turned to bank fraud when his income started to dry up. The effect of the loan was to reduce Manafort's income by that amount and reduce his taxes, she said. One accounting trick saved Manafort $500,000 in taxes, she said.

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