Tuesday, 23 October, 2018

Gates Says He Stole From Firm to Pay for Affair

Paul Manafort Modal Trigger Getty Images
Leonard Rios | 08 August, 2018, 21:42

The drama came at the end of Gates's testimony in the trial of his former boss and mentor Manafort, an ex-Donald Trump campaign chairman accused of bank fraud and tax evasion. These questions about Gates' extramarital tryst also carried faint echoes of Trump, coming less than a month after the release of a tape in which Trump can be heard discussing buying the rights to the story of a woman who claimed to have had an affair with him. "I'm trying to change".

When asked if he took "unauthorized expenses" from Manafort to "fund your separate secret life", Gates replied, "yes, I acknowledge I had a period of time where I had another relationship". They made a mistake when they confirmed me.

Manafort and Gates were the first two individuals indicted in Mueller's investigation into potential collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.

Gates, who is awaiting sentencing, told jurors that he embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars from Manafort by filing false expense reports.

Prosecutors have a star witness in Gates, and they also have a wellspring of evidence. Gates did not have a chance to respond to those allegations Monday. After Yanukovych lost power in 2014, "I would say it decreased the income stream", Gates, wearing a blue suit, told the court matter-of-factly.

After Gates described his theft as "unauthorized transactions" instead of embezzlement, Downing prodded him to use the latter term - and Gates ultimately relented, saying, "It was embezzlement from Mr. Manafort". Gates and Manafort were not targets of the Federal Bureau of Investigation at the time of the interview.

Gates testified that he engaged in an extensive criminal conspiracy with Manafort that lasted seven years and included lying to the Internal Revenue Service to avoid paying taxes and providing false documents to banks to obtains millions of dollars in loans.

The questioning is part of the Manafort defense strategy of presenting Gates to the jury as someone who lies and can not be trusted.

Gates made numerous damaging admissions during cross-examination. Looking at a ledger listing almost $3 million in transactions, he was unable to say which ones were legitimate and which ones he initiated with false expense reports. Gates also fabricated a forgiveness letter for what he said was already a fake loan between Manafort's consulting company and a Cypriot entity he controlled.

"It's not a secret life", Gates said. The loan was actually income disguised to lower Manafort's taxes, he said, and then forgiven to help Manafort get a loan.

Prosecutors hope to wrap up their case this week.

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Gates, who was working on Trump's transition team, testified that Manafort had suggested Stephen Calk as a candidate for Army secretary two weeks after Trump was elected. Plus the Yankees ticketing staffer and the banker who worked under Calk have yet to testify.

In October 2016, for instance, Gates sent Manafort DMP's profit and loss statement (P&L) from January 1 through June 30 of that year, emails introduced in court Tuesday show.

Rick Gates is back on the stand for another hour of cross-examination Wednesday, as defense attorneys seek to paint him as far too compromised to offer credible testimony against his former boss.

One part of his testimony led to laughter in the courtroom.

"Did you commit crimes with Mr Manafort?" prosecutor Greg Andres asked Gates.

Gates said he and Mr Manafort had 15 foreign accounts they did not report and they knew it was illegal.

"I think he has to keep hammering at the point that Gates is not a credible witness and he can't be believed", he said.

A spokesman for the special counsel's declined to comment.

Gates said under questioning Wednesday that he told Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and Justice Department lawyers about some of the offshore companies that contained millions of dollars in proceeds from their Ukrainian political work.

Prosecutors showed contracts laying out that Manafort would be paid $4 million a year in quarterly installments of $1 million, all channeled through Cyprus.

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