Takeaways From Day 5 of the Manafort Trial

Takeaways From Day 5 of the Manafort Trial

Takeaways From Day 5 of the Manafort Trial

Rick Gates has testified that he and US President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, committed crimes.

Gates, considered a star witness against Manafort, struck a plea deal with prosecutors to cooperate in the case against his former business partner.

Under cross examination, she said at the time she believed Manafort was directing Gates' actions and "knew what was going on".

"I don't think it's appropriate to not explain to the jury why these people are paying Mr. Manafort", Andres said.

"At Mr. Manafort's request we did not disclose foreign bank accounts", Gates told the jury in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, describing their relationship of two decades as limited to business.

Manafort's defense signaled early in the trial that they intend to blame Gates for any illegal conduct and to cast him as a liar and embezzler who can't be trusted.

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Gates and Manafort have known each other for two decades and ran a multimillion-dollar political consulting business.

Since he was high-level Trump staffer who is now cooperating with Mueller, Gates' testimony was highly anticipated and seen as key evidence in the case against Manafort. The effect of the loan was to reduce Manafort's income by that amount and reduce his taxes, she said.

Those admissions are likely to become a focal point for Mr Manafort's defense team when he is cross examined today. Those charges include: conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts, being an unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading FARA statements, and false statements.

Paul Manafort's trial is the first criminal trial to come out of the Mueller investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, and alleged collusion by the Trump campaign.

Manafort is charged with bank and tax fraud related to political consulting work he did in Ukraine.

Mr Mueller is also investigating possible coordination between Trump campaign members and Russian officials in the election campaign, but the charges against Mr Manafort do not address that.

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The trial opened last week with a display of Manafort's opulent lifestyle, then progressed into testimony about what prosecutors say were years of financial deception.

On the witness stand Monday, Gates spoke about how he broke the law with Manafort, including by providing false and doctored documents to banks in an effort to inflate Manafort's income to qualify him for loans.

Speaking at Manafort's trial late that afternoon, Gates bluntly answered the prosecutor's questions. Gates is expected to face 6 years in jail, despite his plea deal, whilst Manafort is facing life imprisonment if found guilty.

Though the names of those companies appeared on wire transfers and at times on his bookkeeper's ledger, both Manafort's accountants and his bookkeeper say they never knew that the companies - and corresponding offshore bank accounts - were controlled by Manafort. One accounting trick saved Manafort $US500,000 in taxes, she said.

Gates testified that Manafort told him to report overseas income as loans to lower Manafort's taxable income, supporting the testimony of his accountant.

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