Published: Thu, August 09, 2018

The Sixth Day of Paul Manafort's Trial Was Indirectly About Donald Trump

The Sixth Day of Paul Manafort's Trial Was Indirectly About Donald Trump

Gates, who also worked on Trump's campaign, is the star witness against Manafort. His actions came under scrutiny as part of the broader investigation into the Trump campaign and Russian interference in the 2016 election run by Mueller.

Fox News' Judge Andrew Napolitano told Dana Perino that he found Rick Gates to be a convincing witness, while pointing out that everything that Gates did seems "an encyclopedic example of the swamp that President Trump said he would drain".

He showed jurors how the Federal Bureau of Investigation had painstakingly traced wire transfers from foreign bank accounts to retailers in the U.S. who sold Manafort expensive goods - including the custom men's clothier Alan Couture, where Manafort bought jackets made of ostrich and python skin that each cost five figures.

Manafort and Gates were the first two individuals indicted in Mueller's investigation into potential collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign. "Pls (sic) make the five transfers listed below from the Leviathan account and confirm to me when completed", Manafort wrote.

Ellis and Andres continued to butt heads Wednesday, after Ellis once again reminded the prosecutors they should wrap their case quickly.

She essentially connected the dots of testimony from previous witnesses - vendors, Manafort's bookkeeper and accountants, and Gates - but did so in a way that presented direct links between one witness's part of the story and another's. He finished his testimony Wednesday, Day 7 of the trial. "You and I were talking during the break--the jury can't be happy with this judge because of the snide, snarky comments".

Speaking of Ellis, the 78-year-old U.S. District Court judge overseeing the Eastern Virginia trial renewed his angry tone with prosecutors Wednesday. "In reality, it was basically money moving between accounts".

"I do somehow think he has gotten his back up personally about Greg Andres". Gates said that these loans were actually income.

At times, Ellis has crossed lines, Litman said.

Manafort's defense team's primary strategy has been to pin much of the blame for financial crimes on Gates, and some observers felt Downing made some headway toward that goal on Tuesday. "I'm taking responsibility for it". Some of the jurors respond loudly, "Yes, judge" or "Yes, your honor".

Prosecutors revealed in court two emails Manafort had sent telling others they would receive payments from the foreign accounts.

Following Gates' testimony, prosecutors resumed trying to make their case for financial fraud by Manafort through documentary evidence to demonstrate his control of offshore bank accounts containing millions of dollars not reported to the IRS as required by USA law. Gates was initially charged with Manafort but pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in February.

During cross examination, defense attorney Downing tried to undermine Gates' credibility, noting the benefits he had gotten from his deal with the government, the fact that he made a false statement to investigators, his "scheme" to embezzle from Manafort, and even his "secret life" with a mistress. He also admitted to stealing money from Manafort and having one extramarital affair. Gates was asked about 11 Cypriot accounts, and he testified that they were all owned by Ukrainian businessmen.

"This jury is just supposed to believe you after all the lies that you've told and the fraud you've committed?" asked Downing.

The questioning of Paul Manafort's protege during the political consultant's financial fraud trial has turned confrontational and personal, focusing on Rick Gates' own crimes as well as an extramarital affair and a plea agreement.

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