Manafort's Lawyers Allege Gates Lived A 'Secret Life'

In testimony Tuesday Rick Gates detailed various schemes he engaged in while working for Paul Manafort

Prosecutors asked for the first time about Manafort's role on the Trump campaign.

Downing then asked about what he called "the secret life of Rick Gates", inquiring whether Gates kept an apartment in London and if he engaged in an extramarital relationship there.

Downing told Judge Ellis he expects to question Gates for another hour when the trial resumes for the seventh day on Wednesday. But inside the courtroom, trial proceedings had plodded along almost Trump-free.

As for the bank fraud charges against Manafort, prosecutors presented the most compelling evidence yet that he knowingly inflated his income when applying for loans.

The tough questioning of Gates came after he spent hours telling jurors how he disguised millions of dollars in foreign income as loans in order to lower Manafort's tax bill.

Gates elicited laughs from the crowd when he said he liked Downing's first answer. He scoffed at the idea that Gates had repented for his actions, noting that prosecutors have said they won't oppose his bid for probation and getting him to acknowledge he had not repaid the money he had taken from Manafort.

Manafort's defense has sought to blame Gates for any crimes. They have tried several times to impugn his credibility before the jury.

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.

Gates says Manafort instructed him to travel to France to notify a Ukrainian businessman that the Federal Bureau of Investigation wanted to interview them and to get more information about his business.

"In Cyprus, they were documented as loans". Gates says he didn't report the money as income to Manafort's bookkeeper or accountants. "I regret it, clearly, and I'm taking responsibility for it", he said. Manafort became campaign chairman in May 2016 and left in August 2016.

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The case against Manafort has little 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 coordinated with Russian Federation - the central question Mueller's team has tried to answer. But Trump has shown interest in the proceedings, tweeting support for Manafort.

Gates' ongoing testimony on Tuesday - the sixth day of Manafort's fraud trial - came one day after he testified that he'd committed crimes with Manafort.

Manafort is on trial here facing bank and tax fraud charges. Gates testified that Manafort asked him to float Calk, who was on Trump's economic advisory council, for Secretary of the Army. Manafort would ask him to make payments to various vendors or bank accounts in the USA and overseas.

Under questioning, Gates said when Manafort did consulting work for Ukrainian politicians, he would send the money he made to accounts in Cyprus. "WTF", Manafort wrote to Gates in an email using a common shorthand to show exasperation after learning his projected tax payment for 2014.

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

While Gates endured his second day on the witness stand on Tuesday, he also recounted the many legally troubling falsehoods he resorted to while working alongside Manafort.

"Why is that?" prosecutor Greg Andres asked.

During the testimony, Manafort did not stare Gates down as he did Monday. Laporta was given immunity from prosecution for her testimony.

Gates finally admitted that he had provided false information prior to striking a plea agreement.

Four employees at Dr. K's firm established and named the entities - Leviathan Ltd. and Peranova Ltd. are two of the more high-profile examples - where Manafort and Gates held millions of dollars of payments to Manafort's Davis Manafort Partners (DMP) and DMP International from their overseas political clients. He also 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.

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