Paul Manafort trial day 8: Prosecutors expect to wrap up case soon

Paul Manafort trial day 8: Prosecutors expect to wrap up case soon

Manafort, a former Trump campaign chairman, has pleaded not guilty to 18 counts of bank and tax fraud and failing to disclose foreign bank accounts. He also has repeatedly made comments that some legal experts said may prejudice the jury against the prosecution.

Gates, the government's star witness in Manafort's financial fraud trial, testified how, at the behest of his longtime boss, he helped hide millions of dollars in foreign income and submitted fake mortgage and tax documents.

Prosecutors have pointed out that Manafort listed the Manhattan loft as a rental on his tax returns in previous years. "Mr. Manafort had the same path".

Throughout three days of questioning in a packed federal courtroom a half-hour south of the White House, Gates admitted to a staggering amount of criminal activity he committed both with Manafort and for his own benefit.

Some lawyers following the trial also criticized Ellis for not reacting more strongly to defense lawyer Kevin Downing's attempt to ask the government's star witness Rick Gates on Wednesday whether he had told prosecutors about his four extramarital affairs.

At first, Gates merely noted that in March 2016 Manafort hired him to work for "one of the presidential candidates". He also said he committed credit card and mortgage fraud, falsified a letter for a colleague involved in an investment deal and made false statements in a deposition at Manafort's direction. His defence team is seeking to pin the blame on Gates, who they say was responsible for day-to-day operations of the business.

Melinda James, a mortgage assistant at Citizens Bank, told jurors that Manafort falsely claimed that one property, 377 Union St.in Carroll Gardens, belonged to him "free and clear" while another, 29 Howard St.in Soho, was a second residence where his daughter and her husband lived.

Greg Andres, a prosecutor on special counsel Robert Mueller's team, somewhat softened the blows Manafort's attorney had inflicted during his cross examination.

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That private "sidebar" conversation came after Manafort's attorneys asked Rick Gates about his discussions with Mueller's team - an indication that those conversations between Gates and Mueller's prosecutors could have revealed information relevant to Mueller's probe of Russian election interference. Prosecutors had previously said that Manafort's interactions with Calk were the only part of the trial expected to overlap with his Trump campaign role. Andres sought to rehabilitate Gates with a series of rapid-fire questions about financial machinations underpinning the tax- and bank-fraud case against Manafort.

"The idea of exchanging income for loans reduced his overall tax liability", Gates said.

When Trump asked Perlmutter, a friend and confidante, to help put together his government in December 2016, he agreed to be an outside adviser, selected veterans as his focus, and roped in two other friends, Palm Beach doctor Bruce Moskovitz and lawyer Marc Sherman, Arnsdorf says. "This robe doesn't make me anything other than human".

"Yes, because I'm here to tell the truth and take responsibility for my actions", Gates replied.

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. 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.

Gates finished his testimony Wednesday after admitting that his secret life of cheating on his wife was more extensive than he had indicated earlier.

"I'm here. I'm trying to change", he said.

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