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Takeaways from Day 6 of the Manafort Trial

08 August 2018

Thus the odd and seemingly unrelated names attached to Manafort's 15 foreign entities.

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. Gates also provided the first witness testimony that overlaps with Trump's presidential campaign.

Cindy Laporta, a tax accountant for Manafort, testified Monday under immunity that she helped file falsified bank loan applications for him even though she knew they were inaccurate.

Paul Manafort, President Trump's onetime campaign chairman, is on trial in federal court in Alexandria on bank and tax fraud charges.

Gates also testified on Tuesday how he and Manafort hid income earned for political work in Ukraine, explaining their efforts to set up companies in Cyprus so they could easily be paid by Ukranian businessman who held bank accounts there.

"WTF", Mr Manafort wrote in response, "How could I be blindsided like this".

After saying Monday that he committed crimes with Manafort, including concealing offshore accounts to avoid reporting them to the USA government at tax time and claiming false income to get loans, Manafort defense attorney Kevin Downing asked the witness, "This jury is just supposed to believe you after all the lies that you've told and the fraud you've committed?"

"Did you submit personal expenses to the inaugural committee?"

"When asked by Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) Greg Andres whether Gates understood there was "some level of secrecy involved", Manafort's former right-hand man assented and added that "[Manafort] understood his name would not be represented". He didn't state an exact dollar amount, but estimated it to be "in the hundreds of thousands".

Of course, Trump was not involved in these alleged crimes. Trump often boasts that he hires "the best people", and the sixth day of the trial showcased two people who worked for him, one who allegedly tried to use his influence in Trump's circle to boost someone he had a sketchy financial relationship with, and another who admitted under oath that he may have stolen money from Trump's inaugural committee. But Trump has shown interest in the proceedings, tweeting support for Manafort and suggesting he has been treated worse than gangster Al Capone. But inside the courtroom, trial proceedings had plodded along almost Trump-free.

It was a long day of drama between the former business associates, who didn't appear to meet each other's eyes in the courtroom. But Gates pleaded guilty months later and agreed to cooperate in Mueller's investigation of Manafort, the only American charged by the special counsel to opt for trial instead of a guilty plea.

Downing asked Gates if he used money from Manafort's business to pay for flights and fancy dinners, and to "fund your separate secret life".

Gates, who is 46 and married, admitted: "There was a period in my life, about 10 years ago, when I had a relationship, yes". "Is that what they call it in London?"

"There was another Richard Gates, isn't that right?"

Gates' voice remained steady and calm throughout his roughy six hours of testimony Tuesday.

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.

"I'm here to tell the truth and take responsibility for my actions", Gates said in response to a question from Downing about his trustworthiness. Regarding a trading company Manafort had started with a partner in 2011, he asked with deep scepticism: "You're asking the jury to believe Mr Manafort authorised another US$250,000 as a bonus?"

And in the background, the president was too.

Takeaways from Day 6 of the Manafort Trial