In blistering questioning, a defense lawyer accused the protege of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort of being immersed in "so many lies" he can't remember them all, as he tried to undermine the credibility of the government's star witness in Manafort's fraud trial. Downing mentioned that Gates was maintaining an apartment in London.
As he has repeatedly noted, President Donald Trump is not directly implicated in Paul Manafort's Virginia trial.
Gates, who left the courtroom on Monday without so much as making eye contact with his ex-partner, looked only at the prosecutor during Tuesday's questioning.
"After all the lies you told you expect this jury to believe you?"
Gates elicited laughs from the crowd when he said he liked Downing's first answer.
Downing also asked Gates if he had submitted personal expenses to President Donald Trump's inaugural committee.
Gates admitted to a litany of crimes Tuesday as Downing, Manafort's lead defense attorney, hammered him for enriching himself on his boss's dime, executing tax evasion and bank fraud schemes of his own, and lying to the special counsel's investigators. U.S. District court Judge T.S. Ellis III presides.
Gates, under questioning by prosecutor Greg Andres, admitted that he padded his expense accounts with phony charges without Manafort's knowledge, siphoning "several hundred thousand" dollars from the secret accounts. Gates testified they were not loans but compensation to Manafort.
He has already admitted embezzling some funds from Manafort.
"I'm not sure I told them that or not", Gates replied. The defense moved on.
The questioning is part of the Manafort defense strategy of presenting Gates to the jury as someone who lies and can not be trusted. He told jurors he embezzled from Manafort by filing false 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 testified Tuesday that Manafort hit the roof when faced with an enormous tax bill.
"He's confessing to stealing from the same guy that he was committing crimes with", Noah said of Gates.
"In Cyprus, they were documented as loans".
Gates also said that he did not report 15 foreign offshore bank accounts to the government.
Manafort is charged with 18 counts of bank and tax fraud, and his trial in Alexandria, Va., is the first to be brought on by indictments from special counsel Robert Mueller.
The vendors testified about how Manafort paid for his luxury goods, including cars and custom suits, by using direct wire transfers from accounts overseas. Mr Mueller's team is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, and whether any Trump associates conspired with those efforts.
Both Gates and Manafort were indicted last October by a federal grand jury on 12 charges, including conspiracy against the U.S. Manafort has pleaded not guilty to all charges. Gates testified that Manafort asked him to float Calk, who was on Trump's economic advisory council, for Secretary of the Army. Gates was Manafort's right-hand man during the pair's work as political operatives in Ukraine, and came with Manafort to the Trump campaign.
In one email, Manafort wrote "WTF" and "not happy" about tax payments he was going to have to make, Gates said.
Gates converted the 2015 DMP P&L to a Word document for Manafort, but there were spacing, font, and other discrepancies between that copy and the original.
Manafort's attorney, Kevin Downing, suggested there was a side to Gates few had seen.
Gates was then heard saying Manafort had been on the same path, according to multiple media reports.
Gates was indicted on similar charges to Manafort, which were dropped after he agreed to plead guilty to lesser charges of conspiring against the USA and lying to the government officials in exchange for this testimony.
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