Manafort's lawyers press witness about his own lies, affair, embezzlement

Manafort's lawyers press witness about his own lies, affair, embezzlement

A U.S. Internal Revenue Service agent testified on Wednesday that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who is on trial on tax and bank fraud charges, had $16.5 million in unreported taxable business income between 2010 and 2014.

Gates, 46, is expected to be cross-examined for about another hour by Manafort's attorney Kevin Downing before prosecutors get a second chance to try and undo some of the possibly damaging testimony he gave during their redirect. Gates recounted how he and Manafort used more than a dozen offshore shell companies and bank accounts in Cyprus to funnel the money, all while concealing the accounts and the income from the IRS. She explained how she traced payments for luxury items back to those hidden bank accounts, describing documents from banks and corporations and how the corporate entities and offshore accounts were linked to Manafort.

Also on Wednesday, an Federal Bureau of Investigation forensic accountant, Morgan Magionos, told jurors bank records from Cyprus, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the United Kingdom revealed the accounts were connected to Manafort and his associates.

Prosecutors in Paul Manafort's financial fraud trial say they have eight witnesses left and expect to rest their case Friday.

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.

Moreover, Manafort remains a central figure in the broader inquiry into the Trump campaign's dealings with Russia, including a 2016 Trump Tower meeting at which Russians promised "dirt" on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and his role in watering down the 2016 Republican Party platform position on Ukraine.

"I'm not happy with this judge", Napolitano said on "The Daily Briefing" on Wednesday.

"I'm here to tell the truth and take responsibility for my actions", Gates said in response to a question from Downing about his trustworthiness.

On Wednesday, Downing sought to counter earlier testimony that Manafort had encouraged Gates to deceive authorities by getting Gates to acknowledge that Manafort told him to be truthful about offshore shell companies and bank accounts during a 2014 interview with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Downing accused Gates of using the funds he admitted to stealing from Manafort to pay for a lavish lifestyle that included a London apartment and travel funds to finance one of his extramarital affairs. Prosecutors objected and Gates never answered the question. But Trump has shown interest in the proceedings, tweeting support for Manafort.

Rick Gates says he and Manafort disguised foreign income as loans

Manafort's political work included advising Viktor Yanukovich on policy after he won the Ukrainian presidency, Gates said. "Mr Manafort had the same path". They made a mistake when they confirmed me.

The questioning is part of the Manafort defense strategy of presenting Gates to the jury as someone who lies and can not be trusted.

Gates served as a deputy for Manafort's political consulting business, and then as his deputy on the Trump campaign in 2016.

Gates testified that Manafort asked him to float Calk, who was on Trump's economic advisory council, for Secretary of the Army.

Numerous jurors have diligently taken notes throughout the proceedings, peering down into small monitors in front of them to scrutinize bank and tax documents.

Mr Gates testified he and Mr Manafort knew they were committing crimes for years, saying they had stashed money in foreign bank accounts and falsified bank loan documents.

But the grilling got more intense, and personal, Tuesday afternoon when Downing pressed Gates about a "secret life" he said was funded by embezzlement, including an extramarital affair that Gates himself acknowledged.

Mr Gates told jurors that he had been "tasked" by his boss "to determine how we could lower the taxes".

"I would be surprised, given what's occurred in the Manafort trial, if Judge Ellis didn't issue this relatively standard instruction", Abramson said.

Manafort's defence team's has tried to pin much of the blame for financial crimes on Gates and raise doubts about his ethics and morals.

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