Six bombshells from Rick Gates' testimony in the Paul Manafort trial
08 August, 2018, 20:27
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.
He also made clear he was testifying against Mr Manafort in the hopes of receiving a lesser prison sentence, having pleaded guilty as part of a deal with special counsel Robert Mueller.
Rick Gates says that he told Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and Justice Department lawyers about some of the offshore companies that contained millions of dollars in proceeds from their Ukrainian political work.
Manafort and Gates were the first two people indicted in Mueller's investigation into potential ties between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.
For this Manafort was paid US$4million a year, in quarterly payments of US$1million, Gates recalled, though at some point the currency switched from United States dollars to Euros.
Rick Gates said under questioning from Manafort's lawyer Wednesday that he told Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and Justice Department lawyers about some of the offshore companies that contained millions of dollars in proceeds from their Ukrainian political work.
The names on those accounts belonged to the four individuals who created them.
Andres followed up: "Did Mr Manafort know?" "We need to discuss Steve Calk for Sec (retary) of the Army", Manafort wrote to Gates in an email on November 24, 2016.
Asked why he had lied, Gates said he had done so at Mr Manafort's request.
Under questioning, Gates said he may have submitted personal expenses for reimbursement by Trump's inaugural committee, which he helped operate.
Gates described in detail his crimes against his employer and even an extramarital affair he'd had, while turning the knife on his longtime boss by outlining the crimes he claims Manafort directed him to commit.
"Yes, this is approved", Manafort responded.
Sure, Gates called himself a liar and a cheat on Tuesday. Manafort would ask him to make payments to various vendors or bank accounts in the US and overseas.
During the testimony, Manafort did not stare Gates down as he did Monday.
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Gates said he did not.
Gates says that Manafort asked him to meet with one of the Ukrainian businessmen involved in paying him millions of dollars to find out if one of the shell companies used to pay him was a "clean entity". But Trump has shown interest in the proceedings, tweeting support for Manafort and suggesting he has been treated worse than gangster Al Capone. Documents in word-processing applications can be edited.
At first, Gates merely noted that in March 2016 Manafort hired him to work for "one of the presidential candidates".
The new document showed a net profit of more than $3 million - a $3.6 million shift.
"This jury is just supposed to believe you after all the lies that you've told and the fraud you've committed?" asked Downing.
Downing tried to take it further at a climactic moment of his Gates questioning Tuesday.
In testimony Tuesday, Gates acknowledged embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from Manafort and carrying on an extramarital affair. Walter Mack, Brown's lawyer, declined comment.
The goal of the letter was to coax the Swiss company into investing in Brown's project as well.
Gates did not raise his voice or appear to lose his cool through the first two hours of cross-examination Tuesday.
"There is a period of time over 10 years ago when I had a relationship, yes", Gates said.
Gates repeatedly challenged Downing's characterization of certain events with astonishingly self-incriminating frankness.
In the six days since the trial began, the jury has heard from 15 witnesses including two of Manafort's former accountants and his former bookkeeper. "In reality, it was basically money moving between accounts", Gates said. Gates also worked on the campaign. Gates offered that he had been the recipient of an "unauthorized transaction".
"What difference does it make?" Gates would fill out such templates based on information he received from Manafort and then Dr. K's law firm would move the funds. "I regret it, clearly, and I'm taking responsibility for it", he said. I regret it clearly. "I made a mistake".
Downing at one point 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.
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