Manafort defence attorneys rip into star prosecution witness

Ex-Trump campaign adviser Paul Manafort's defense seeks to discredit the Mueller team's star witness during cross-examination; Peter Doocy reports on the bombshell day in court.

Possible embezzlement of millions Manafort's attorneys went on the attack against Gates on Monday, alleging that Gates told accountants to falsify Manafort's tax returns because Gates was trying to cover up the fact that he had "embezzled millions of dollars" from their firm.

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.

Prosecutors showed contracts laying out that Manafort would be paid $4 million a year in quarterly installments of $1 million, all channeled through Cyprus. Gates also provided the first witness testimony that overlaps with Donald Trump's presidential campaign. Manafort's lawyer Kevin Downing asked in the courtroom. Gates testified that he and Manafort knew they were committing crimes for years, saying they had stashed money in foreign bank accounts and falsified bank loan documents.

On Tuesday, the court was shown a series of emails, contracts and what prosecutor Greg Andres referred to as "fake invoices", in which Gates altered the template to show the name of a shell company instead of Manafort's.

Downing told Judge T.S. Ellis III that he plans to cross-examine Gates for another hour Wednesday morning.

Rick Gates has finished his testimony in the financial fraud trial of his former boss, Paul Manafort, after one last effort by defense lawyers to erode his credibility. And prosecutors flashed a note from a meeting Manafort and Gates had in 2013, showing that an unnamed Trump may have received Manafort's Yankees tickets.

Gates said he helped Manafort hide secret bank accounts in the United Kingdom, Cyprus and the Grenadines. At one point, as Gates had trouble recalling the details of his confession, Downing asked him, "Have they confronted you with so many lies that you can't even remember them?"

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The transfers would usually occur when Manafort made requests for Gates to initiate them-often through a list of to-be-sent wire transfers provided by Manafort to Gates via email.

If convicted on all counts, Manafort could face eight to 10 years in prison based on federal sentencing guidelines, according to sentencing expert Justin Paperny.

Gates finally admitted that he had provided false information prior to striking a plea agreement. Gates testified that Manafort asked him to float Calk, who was on Trump's economic advisory council, for Secretary of the Army.

Gates said that he helped fabricate documents to convert some income to a loan to lower Manafort's tax bill.

However, when Andres returned to the podium for another chance to question Gates, Gates said that Manafort did reach out to a Ukrainian businessman before his Federal Bureau of Investigation interview to get more information about the entity that the businessman used to pay him and to make sure that it was "clean", meaning it was only used to pay Manafort. "In reality, it was basically money moving between accounts", Gates said.

Gates described to jurors how he repeatedly submitted fake financial documents at Manafort's behest as his former boss became concerned he was paying too much in taxes and, later, that his funds were drying up.

In other testimony, Gates recounted how he converted a PDF of a profit-and-loss statement to a Microsoft Word document so he could doctor it to inflate the business' income. She also said Manafort told Banc of California that his company made almost $4.5 million when the actual amount was $400,000. 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. "Mr. Manafort had the same path".

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