Judge Nap Calls Out Manafort Judge: Stop Making This About You

Paul Manafort's associate says 'hundreds' of emails prove former Trump campaign chief directed fraud

As he has repeatedly noted, President Donald Trump is not directly implicated in Paul Manafort's Virginia trial.

Prosecutors in Paul Manafort's financial fraud trial say they have eight witnesses left and expect to rest their case Friday.

The judge then brought the trial to a standstill late Tuesday afternoon, calling a brief recess. After a sidebar with the judge, Downing moved onto another topic.

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

He told jurors how he disguised millions of dollars in foreign income as loans in order to lower Mr Manafort's tax bill.

Gates spent Monday afternoon and most of Tuesday morning corroborating prosecutors' version of events; the government's attorneys say Gates and Manafort used offshore bank accounts and wire transfers to hide money from the IRS as to avoid paying taxes. Downing said that the question, which came one day after Gates admitted to having a single affair ten years ago, was relevant because it could prove that Gates had lied to investigators. They have tried several times to impugn his credibility before the jury. "This robe doesn't make me anything other than human".

Gates' testified that he and Manafort knew they were committing crimes for years.

Numerous jurors have diligently taken notes throughout the proceedings, peering down into small monitors in front of them to scrutinize bank and tax documents. Gates said the money he took was sent to his account in the United Kingdom and was never disclosed to his accountants or the USA government. Gates also provided the first witness testimony that overlaps with Trump's presidential campaign. But Trump has shown interest in the proceedings, tweeting support for Manafort and suggesting he has been treated worse than gangster Al Capone.

Manafort has pleaded not guilty to 18 counts of bank fraud, tax fraud and failing to disclose foreign bank accounts.

Gates served as a deputy for Manafort's political consulting business, and then as his deputy on the Trump campaign in 2016.

She essentially connected the dots of testimony from previous witnesses - vendors, Manafort's bookkeeper and accountants, and Gates - but did so in a way that presented direct links between one witness's part of the story and another's.

"It was highly inappropriate to raise the other affairs, and the judge's response was very generous", said Gene Rossi, a former prosecutor who has been attending the trial as a spectator.

The testimony, stretching across three days, created an extraordinary courtroom showdown between the two former Trump campaign aides who were indicted together.

Rick Gates leaves federal court in Washington, Feb. 23, 2018.

See more from the judge in the clip above, including his thoughts on the testimony of Rick Gates, a former business partner of Manafort. He initially tried to avoid admitting he purposefully lied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about a 2013 meeting Manafort attended with a USA congressman and tried to avoid using the term "embezzled" in relation to the inflated expense reports he submitted for reimbursement during his employment with Manafort. However, Gates also said the agents did not ask about tax returns and "the majority of the Cypriot accounts were closed" at the stage.

"The Ukrainians", Gates said, adding a layer to his statement Tuesday that he had stolen "Mr. Manafort's money". Manafort is charged with money laundering and conspiracy.

Gates finally admitted that he had provided false information prior to striking a plea agreement.

Downing accused Gates of using the funds he admitted to stealing from Manafort to pay for a lavish lifestyle that included a London apartment and travel funds to finance one of his extramarital affairs.

Related:

Comments


Other news