ALEXANDRIA, Virginia – The key witness against Paul Manafort, President Trump's former campaign manager, announced on Monday in federal court that he had helped Manafort face a series of financial crimes for several years while also stealing from him and others.
In the most anticipated testimony in the case of tax evasion and bank fraud against Manafort, Rick Gates testified that he and Manafort had falsified tax returns and held 1
The range of crimes that Gates confessed was huge: bank fraud, tax fraud, money laundering, federal agencies lie, lie in a court decision (19659004) Many of the crimes Gates witnessed were made with Manafort.
The case is being watched as the first test of Special Defender Robert Mueller's ability to convict in the courtroom, and Manafort and Gates took first place in the 2016 Trump campaign. The result is likely to depend on what the jury of Gates, who was still associated with the election campaign – and later appointed Deputy Chairman of the Trump Opening Committee reports on the nature of his work in Ukraine
Manafort had served as Trump's campaign chairman in five critical months, helping the real estate tycoon and reality TV star secure the Republican nomination and move to the convention. He resigned in August 2016.
At a time when the investigation of Trump and Russia's involvement in the 2016 election campaign put Washington in a state of constant drama, Monday's testimony was a moment of peculiar pathos.
There was the protégé After turning against his mentor and agreeing to a plea, he began to tell how they had washed their money.
Gates sat grim-faced and did not give Manafort a look that stared in his direction. Asked by prosecutors if he was involved in any criminal activity with Manafort, Gates responded "yes."
He confirmed his own misconduct and quickly said he knew what the prosecutors claim is a multi-year tax and bank fraud scheme from Manafort because "I was the one who helped organize the paperwork."
Gates' twelve-year work on Manafort's site makes him a perfectly positioned witness. He knew every detail of Manafort's finances, to the extent he paid for the season tickets for the games of his favorite teams: the New York Yankees, the New York Knicks, and the Washington Redskins.
He also testified that some of the crimes he committed had nothing to do with Manafort.
Gates acknowledged that he had inflated expense reports, a charge that was heard by the defense as the theft of Manafort.
His testimony given after 20 meetings with prosecutors supported the key elements of
He said at his mentor's instructions he had lied to Manafort's accountant about the fact that Manafort had foreign bank accounts, mainly in Cyprus, in Names of shell companies controlled by which accountants believed to be Manafort's clients.
He said four Ukrainian oligarchs, immensely powerful personalities who, with the help of Manafort in 2010, helped elect a Russian-oriented president, paid Manafort millions through their own societies in Ukraine. He said that Manafort knew he was required by law to report his foreign bank accounts, but not because he wanted to report less income and reduce his taxes.
Such a testimony could help to decide if Manafort, 69, spends the rest of his life in prison. The heaviest of the 18 charges carries a maximum of 30 years in prison.
Manafort's allies, on the other hand, argue that Gates can be discredited as a morally bankrupt and untrustworthy narrator, who owes Manafort his professional career and deducts millions of his accounts. Given the prospect of imprisonment and heavy fines, the Manafort allies accused Manafort of financial machinations that he himself carried out.
The defense also signaled on Monday that Gates could claim extramarital affairs from him. The trial continues on Tuesday.
When Gates pleaded guilty in February to lying to federal authorities and committing conspiracies, he agreed to cooperate with a lighter sentence.
Prosecutors have attempted to make preventive holes in the notion that Gates is an unreliable apostate and that Manafort was a sought-after political advisor too busy to realize that Gates was forging his financial records. While Gates was the one who asked accountants to give him copies of PDF statements to convert and convert to Word, some of the forged documents bear the signature of Manafort.
And Manafort told the accountants that he has no foreigners bank accounts, although prosecutors allege that he founded many in Cyprus and St. Vincent and the Grenadines on behalf of shell companies so he could conceal his true income. Late last week, outside the trial of the jury, Judge T.S. Ellis III of the US District Court in Alexandria said the prosecutors had both proven that Manafort personally denied that these accounts existed and that he controlled them.
On Monday, the prosecutor of Gates and Manaforts auditors, who had tied Manafort more closely to Russia. Accountant Cynthia Laporta said that in 2006, Manafort received a loan from Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch close to Russian President Vladimir Putin. She said she did not see any evidence that she was ever repaid.
And Gates testified that Konstantin Kilimnik, who the prosecutors claim was tied to Russian intelligence services, was a signatory to Manafort's hidden accounts in Cyprus.
The Political Undertones of Some The statement of the testimony led to a tension between the tensions between Ellis and Greg D. Andres, the chief prosecutor who simmer since last Tuesday's trial. As Andres tried to describe Manafort's political patrons in Ukraine – pro-Russian oligarchs who control entire industries – the judge urged him to "get to the heart of things" as he did on a daily basis.
"We were at the heart of the matter," Andres replied.