Govt Intends to Call 8 More Witnesses in Manafort Trial

Rick Gates says he and Manafort disguised foreign income as loans

Govt Intends to Call 8 More Witnesses in Manafort Trial

Paul Manafort hid more than 30 offshore accounts in three types of currencies from the IRS, according to an Federal Bureau of Investigation forensic accountant testifying in the former Trump campaign chairman's trial.

Gates, also a former Trump campaign aide, has claimed during three days of evidence that he both stole for and stole from Manafort, who denies 18 counts of bank and tax fraud and failing to disclose foreign bank accounts. "In reality, it was basically money moving between accounts".

"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.

Defense lawyer Kevin Downing began his cross-examination of longtime Manafort deputy Rick Gates by pressing him on his own lies to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigators, an extramarital affair and hundreds of thousands of dollars he admitted to embezzling from his former boss.

See more from the judge in the clip above, including his thoughts on the testimony of Rick Gates, a former business partner of Manafort. His defence team is seeking to pin the blame on Gates, who they say was responsible for day-to-day operations of the business. So frequent were Gates's crimes that he could not answer definitively when asked if he had stolen money from the Trump inauguration committee, for which he served as deputy chairman.

Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano expressed his displeasure with the judge presiding over Paul Manafort's tax and bank fraud trial in Virginia by telling him to stop making this about him.

Manafort's lawyers are determined to impugn the credibility of Gates, who pleaded guilty in Mueller's investigation and agreed to cooperate with investigators by testifying in the financial fraud trial. Manafort made millions of dollars working for pro-Russian Ukrainian politicians before he took an unpaid position with the Trump campaign that lasted five months.

"WTF", Mr Manafort wrote in response, "How could I be blindsided like this".

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Neither man was charged in connection with their Trump campaign work, but the trial has nonetheless been a distraction for a president who insists Manafort was treated shabbily and who continues to publicly fume about Mueller's investigation into potential ties between his associates and the Kremlin.

Manafort's political work included advising Viktor Yanukovich on policy after he won the Ukrainian presidency, Gates said. He said he engaged in the wrongdoing at Manafort's direction.

After Gates testified that Manafort was "pretty good about knowing" where his money was, Ellis couldn't suppress a quip that appeared to call into question Gates' testimony.

That is expected to continue on Wednesday - and then prosecutors are expected to have an opportunity to question Gates again and try to rehabilitate him.

She said she had identified 31 accounts located in Cyprus, the Grenadines and the United Kingdom belonging to Manafort. When the trial broke for lunch, Manafort looked back at his wife, sitting in the front row, smiled and winked at her, followed by a quick shake of his head, seeming to indicate he was unfazed by the morning's testimony.

Prosecutors also introduced emails from Manafort to vendors of luxury items he bought in which he promises payment via wire transfers from "my" account, citing some of the offshore entities he is accused of using to hide his wealth. Manafort's conviction would undermine efforts by Trump and some Republican lawmakers to paint Mueller's inquiry as a political witch hunt, while an acquittal would be a setback for Mueller.

So far, the trial has in large part steered clear of direct allegations about the Trump campaign. They expect to wrap up their case this week.

Manafort's defense team did its darndest to sully Gates as a liar, a cheat, a thief and an adulterer for eight hours inside Judge T.S. Ellis' Alexandria courtroom over the past three days. "You and I were talking during the break--the jury can't be happy with this judge because of the snide, snarky comments".

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