Rick Gates Flips On Manafort: We Committed Crimes

Thomas Zehnle second from right attorney for Paul Manafort walks with other members of the defense team to Alexandria Federal Courthouse in Alexandria Va. Monday Aug. 6 2018. Manafort President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman is on

Gates also reportedly told the court on Monday that he had been told by Mr Manafort not to disclose foreign bank accounts.

This was the testimony that close watchers of Manafort's troubles have been waiting for since Gates flipped in February.

Taking the stand on the trial's fifth day, Gates admitted to helping Manafort doctor financial statements, hide sources of foreign income, mislead banks to get loans and cheat on his United States taxes. He said he was aware Manafort was acting as an unregistered foreign agent in lobbying for Ukraine. He said he assisted Manafort with a number of loans Manafort was seeking, and that he provided fraudulent and altered documents to support those loans.

"At Mr. Manafort's request we did not disclose foreign bank accounts", Gates told the jury in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia.

Manafort's defense has sought to blame Gates for any illegal conduct and accused him of embezzling millions of dollars.

Gates, who first met Manafort working for him as an intern fresh out of college, has been described by witnesses as Manafort's right-hand man in his multimillion-dollar political consulting business.

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Gates and Manafort worked closely together for years.

The special counsel's case hinges on Gates and they are asking the jury to believe someone who just admitted to half a dozen crimes on the witness stand.

Rick Gates has been regarded as a crucial witness for the government ever since he pleaded guilty this year to two felony charges and agreed to cooperate in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into possible ties between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.

Prosecutors allege that Manafort financed a lavish lifestyle featuring sumptuous residences and extravagant wardrobes by using millions of dollars in profits that he hid from tax authorities then turned to bank fraud when his income started to dry up. When Robert Mueller began investigating Russian interference previous year, Manafort's questionable lobbying work - the sort of activity that has historically rarely been investigated in Washington - was put under a microscope, exposing him and his associates.

Gates is also admitting to carrying out a vast scheme to hide millions of dollars in foreign bank accounts on Manafort's behalf.

In court on Monday, Gates testified that he did steal from Manafort. Klimnik is a Russian-Ukrainian political consultant who was indicted in June on charges stemming from the Mueller probe. Prosecutors still said they estimate having about three more hours of questions for Gates on Tuesday before cross examination can begin.

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Gates admitted in testimony on Friday that he had lied to Laporta, as well as other accountants and Manafort's bookkeeper. In questioning Laporta on Monday, a prosecutor asked the accountant about a $10 million loan purportedly received by Manafort from Russian businessman Oleg Deripaska in 2006. Laporta, who testified under an immunity deal with the government, acknowledged that she agreed under pressure from Gates to alter a tax document for one of Manafort's businesses.

Manafort attorney Kevin Downing says that Rick Gates will testify at the conclusion of the testimony of Manafort's tax preparer.

The government's star witness in the trial of Paul Manafort admits he embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars from the former Trump campaign chairman.

Gates also said he lied in a lawsuit deposition years ago, after Manafort "asked me not to include" certain things in the deposition.

"In most instances, it was clear that Mr. Manafort knew what was going on", she said.

Andres said he was entitled to show the jury why Manafort was getting tens of millions of dollars in payments.

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