Manafort team attacks star witness over affair, fraud and 'so many lies'

Defense in Manafort trial zeroes in on Gates's 'secret life'

Defense in Manafort trial zeroes in on Gates's 'secret life'

In testimony Tuesday, Gates laid responsibility squarely at Manafort's feet for a series of crimes, saying the two had committed crimes together by stashing money in foreign bank accounts and falsifying bank loan documents.

Gates admitted to embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars - $3 million, Downing claimed, but could not definitively prove - from Manafort.

He testified under terms of a deal with Justice Department Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who's investigating suspected collusion between Russian Federation and Trump's campaign during the 2016 presidential election.

He is the first subject of special counsel Robert S. Mueller's investigation to stand trial.

Prosecutors called Morgan Magionos, an Federal Bureau of Investigation forensic accountant, as the next witness to testify.

He showed jurors how the Federal Bureau of Investigation had painstakingly traced wire transfers from foreign bank accounts to retailers in the U.S. who sold Manafort expensive goods - including the custom men's clothier Alan Couture, where Manafort bought jackets made of ostrich and python skin that each cost five figures.

And IRS agent Michael Welch said Manafort used his foreign income for purchases that included a yacht, horseback riding, Italian villa rental and cosmetic dentistry.

Mr Gates, who faced a bruising cross-examination, returned to the witness stand yesterday for additional questioning from a Manafort lawyer who accused the government's star witness of being immersed in "so many lies " he can't even remember them all.

But on Wednesday, Manafort attorney Kevin Downing seemed to accuse Gates of having affairs with multiple individuals, asking Gates whether he disclosed four affairs to the special counsel's office. Downing asked Gates if he recalled telling the special counsel's office that he'd had four different extramarital affairs.

But the defense team has taken on the the daunting task of convincing jurors that Gates, who was in constant communication with Manafort and carrying out his wishes, is an unreliable witness who had simply gone rogue and independently chose to boost his boss' personal income over a period of several years.

In detailed testimony, Gates walked prosecutors through the step-by-step process on how he and Manafort doctored and backdated documents.

Gates admitted during testimony on Monday to embezzling money from Manafort.

Mr Manafort and Mr Gates were the first people indicted in Mr Mueller's investigation into potential ties between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.

The judge in the criminal trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortProsecutors portray GOP member as a brazen lawbreaker Fox News analyst: Judge in Manafort trial showing "extraordinary bias" against prosecutors IRS agent testifies Manafort failed to report.5M in taxable income MORE on Thursday reportedly told jurors he was wrong for criticizing prosecutors earlier in the week.

Prosecutor Greg Andres immediately objected and Downing did not return to the subject after a hushed consultation among the lawyers with Judge T.S. Ellis.

For this Manafort was paid US$4million a year, in quarterly payments of US$1million, Gates recalled, though at some point the currency switched from USA dollars to Euros. Andres prompted Gates to point out where the money came from that he had stolen.

In December 2016, Manafort sent an "urgent" email to Gates including Calk and Calk's son on a list of people Manafort wanted to receive invitations to Trump's inauguration.

"We can't say sitting here today who signed Mr. Manafort's name to the Cyprus bank accounts", Westling said to Magionos. "In reality, it was basically money moving between accounts", Gates said.

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