Manafort lawyer: 'So many lies' Gates can't keep up


During a brief break, as the lawyers huddled at the bench with judge, Manafort continued to watch his former associate while Gates flipped the pages of a thick binder containing government exhibits, including copies of their prior correspondence.

Manafort, 69, has pleaded not guilty to 18 counts of bank fraud, tax fraud and failing to disclose foreign bank accounts.

Gates told jurors that he siphoned off the money without Manafort's knowledge by filing false expense reports. As part of his plea agreement with the government, Gates said he agreed to cooperate with prosecutors during their prosecution of Manafort, adding that he had provided investigators with documents, emails and text messages documenting years of interactions with Manafort.

Gates, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy and lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation earlier this year, acknowledged his own criminal activity in open court as Manafort sat just a few feet away at the defense table.

Under questioning, Gates said he may have submitted personal expenses for reimbursement by Trump's inaugural committee, which he helped operate.

A trial against Manafort, who is charged with money laundering, tax evasion for almost 10 years of cooperation with former Ukrainian leaders, began on July 31.

Gates walked into a packed courtroom a day after he calmly acknowledged having embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars from Manafort and said the two had committed crimes together by stashing money in foreign bank accounts and falsifying bank loan documents. That recommendation is nonbinding as a federal judge will ultimately decide his sentence.

Downing also asked whether Mueller's investigators had interviewed Gates about his role in the campaign, prompting an objection from prosecutors and a sidebar conference with U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III. It doesn't directly have to do with Manafort's work for President Donald Trump.

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But he says any deal would be structured so that shareholders could opt to remain investors or be bought out at $420 per share. Intentions to buy out public shareholders usually need to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC.

The case against Manafort has nothing to do with either man's work for the Trump campaign and there's been no discussion during the trial about whether the Trump campaign co-ordinated with Russian Federation - the central question Mueller's team has tried to answer.

Andres said he was entitled to show the jury why Manafort was getting tens of millions of dollars in payments. "It doesn't matter whether they're good or bad or oligarchs or crooks or mafia or whatever", he said.

"When we try to describe the work, Your Honor stops us and tell us to move on", he said.

Speaking at a rapid clip, Gates told jurors he stole from Manafort even as he told lies to bookkeepers and accountants so that his boss could hide most of his offshore earnings, estimated by prosecutors as more than $60 million from 2010 to 2014.

Later, when Yanukovych fell out of power and fled to Russian Federation, the business struggled and prosecutors say Manafort lied to banks to obtain loans to help maintain his life of luxury.

The first full day of testimony was all about luxury voyeurism, with vendors appearing one after another to tell jurors how Manafort spent millions on home renovations, entertainment systems, and custom clothing.

"In Cyprus, they were documented as loans".

The 46-year-old former political consultant told jurors how Manafort asked for tickets to Trump's inauguration so he could give them to a banker involved in approving a loan at the center of his financial fraud trial. The email exchange occurred after Manafort left the Trump campaign but while Gates was active on the Trump inauguration committee. Whether Manafort will suddenly offer up dirt valuable enough to negotiate a deal to reduce his potential prison time or go free is as yet unknown, but there are no indications that he has provided any such information to date.