Rick Gates takes the witness stand at Paul Manafort’s tax, fraud trial

Rick Gates takes the witness stand at Paul Manafort’s tax, fraud trial

President Trump has previously spoken of the Mueller investigation, referring to it as a "witch-hunt", and reiterating that Manafort only worked for his campaign for a few months. Mr Gates was Mr Manafort's partner in the consultancy.

"In most instances it was clear Mr. Manafort knew what was going on", Laporta said.

The men signed a consulting contract with a new party called Opposition Bloc, which was created and funded partly by the same Russia-aligned oligarchs who backed Yanukovych, Gates said.

On Monday Gates testified that he has met with prosecutors about 20 times.

Manafort's defence attorneys have sought to paint Gates as an embezzler, liar and the instigator of any criminal conduct.

Prosecutors had braced for the tough questioning by getting Gates to come clean about his own crimes.

She testified that she was unaware if the loan was categorised for tax purposes as income. (There are no phones or computers allowed in the court.) So many people jumped up that it caused a commotion, and Judge T.S. Ellis threatened to have people "excluded" if in the future they didn't leave the court in a "quiet, orderly way". The defence moved on.

He then described having "cheated" Manafort out of "several hundred thousand dollars" by submitting fabricated expense reports. He also committed credit card and mortgage fraud, falsified a letter for a colleague involved in an investment deal and made false statements in a deposition at Manafort's direction.

Gates told the courtroom that Manafort asked Gates to change certain things in order to obtain loans after the Ukraine income dried up in 2014.

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"In Cyprus, they were documented as loans".

Gates testified that the money they earned for the political consultancy work in Ukraine passed through bank accounts in Cyprus that they controlled.

Gates, who first met Manafort working for him as an intern fresh out of college, has been described by witnesses as Manafort's right-hand man in his multimillion-dollar political consulting business.

Andres spent the morning questioning Manafort's longtime deputy, Rick Gates, who pleaded guilty to one charge of conspiracy against the United States and one charge of lying to an Federal Bureau of Investigation agent in exchange for testifying against his former boss.

Mr Mueller is also investigating possible coordination between Trump campaign members and Russian officials in the election campaign, but the charges against Mr Manafort do not address that.

He has tweeted support for his former campaign manager, suggesting he has been treated worse than gangster Al Capone.

On Friday, a tax preparer named Cindy Laporta admitted that she helped disguise $900,000 in foreign income as a loan to reduce Manafort's tax burden.

Manafort served as candidate Donald Trump's campaign chairman from June 2016 through August 2016. Laporta, who testified under an immunity deal with the government, acknowledged that she agreed under pressure from Gates to alter a tax document for one of Manafort's businesses.

In one exchange, Ellis interrupted Andres during Gates' testimony about his travels, according to Politico.

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