Star witness to take stand for second day in Manafort trial

Star witness to take stand for second day in Manafort trial

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Reuters) – Rick Gates, a former enterprise affiliate to U.S. President Donald Trump’s ex-campaign supervisor Paul Manafort, will proceed to testify in opposition to his former boss and is predicted to face a tricky cross examination on Tuesday.

Rick Gates (R), a longtime enterprise affiliate of U.S. President Donald Trump’s former marketing campaign chairman Paul Manafort (entrance L), testifies on the fifth day of the trial of Manafort, on financial institution and tax fraud expenses stemming from Particular Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling within the 2016 U.S. presidential election, in federal courtroom in Alexandria, Virginia, U.S., August 6, 2018. Choose T.S. Ellis (rear C) appears on. REUTERS/Invoice Hennessy

Gates, 46, testified on Monday that he helped falsify Manafort’s tax returns and conceal his international financial institution accounts used to obtain earnings from rich pro-Russia Ukrainian businessmen.

Gates, who additionally was an official on Trump’s marketing campaign, pleaded responsible in February to mendacity to investigators and conspiring to defraud america and agreed to cooperate in Particular Counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation into whether or not Trump’s marketing campaign colluded with Russia.

On Monday Gates testified that he has met with prosecutors about 20 occasions. It’s unclear what different info he could have supplied to Mueller’s staff.

Manafort, 69, has pleaded not responsible to 18 counts of financial institution fraud, tax fraud and failing to reveal international financial institution accounts.

Prosecutors are anticipated to proceed questioning Gates on Tuesday morning earlier than Manafort’s protection attorneys get their likelihood to cross-examine him.

All through the trial, they’ve tried to pin the blame for monetary misdeeds on Gates, whom additionally they have accused of embezzling hundreds of thousands from Manafort’s consulting agency.

Gates admitted on Monday that he did steal cash via inflated expense studies, however he mentioned it was a whole lot of hundreds of , not hundreds of thousands.

Manafort’s attorneys are anticipated to make use of the theft to attempt to undermine Gates’ credibility as a witness. In addition they are prone to carry up his making false statements to investigators.

Some observers who watched Gates’ testimony on Monday mentioned they thought he was credible.

“He’s not an sincere particular person,” mentioned Susan Elson, 69, a retired lawyer who got here from Annapolis to observe the trial. “However I feel he has completely folded. I don’t imagine he’s holding something again at this level.”

Prosecutors have accused Manafort and Gates of conspiring to cover a good portion of the $60 million that Manafort earned via his political lobbying within the Ukraine for its then-President Viktor Yanukovych.

Later, when Yanukovych fell out of energy and fled to Russia, the enterprise struggled and prosecutors say Manafort lied to banks to acquire loans to assist keep his lifetime of luxurious.

One problem that might grow to be an ongoing problem for prosecutors on Tuesday is the extent to which they’re allowed to confess proof about Manafort’s Ukraine work and the oligarchs who paid him.

On Monday, Choose T.S. Ellis repeatedly clashed with prosecutors in regards to the relevance of such testimony and as soon as once more urged them to hurry issues alongside.

Later, with the jury out of earshot, Ellis raised his voice at Greg Andres, scolding him for trying down when he was chatting with him and unnecessarily dragging the rich Ukrainian businessmen’s names “via the mud.”

Andres informed him it was essential to be allowed clarify the function that oligarchs play in Ukraine’s political system.

“I don’t suppose it’s applicable to not clarify to the jury why these persons are paying Mr. Manafort,” Andres mentioned.

Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch, Nathan Layne and Karen Freifeld; Modifying by Lisa Shumaker

Our Requirements:The Thomson Reuters Belief Ideas.

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