The Sixth Day of Paul Manafort's Trial Was Indirectly About Donald Trump

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The Sixth Day of Paul Manafort's Trial Was Indirectly About Donald Trump

Rick Gates wrapped up his testimony Wednesday in the trial of his onetime friend and boss, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, reiterating that the two men conspired to lie on their taxes and defraud banks.

Gates walked into a packed courtroom a day after he calmly acknowledged having embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars from Manafort and said the two had committed crimes together by stashing money in foreign bank accounts and falsifying bank loan documents.

Paul Manafort was concerned after a 2014 Federal Bureau of Investigation interview that one of the companies used to pay the former Trump campaign chairman for his Ukrainian political consulting work wasn't "clean". Gates testified that Manafort asked him to float Calk, who was on Trump's economic advisory council, for Secretary of the Army.

But Gates did not answer Downing's question after the prosecution objected to the relevance of the inquiry.

"I'm not happy with this judge", Napolitano said on "The Daily Briefing" on Wednesday.

Manafort's defense team's primary strategy has been to pin much of the blame for financial crimes on Gates, and some observers felt Downing made some headway toward that goal on Tuesday.

He also admitted to leading a "secret life", embezzling funds from his former boss Manafort, and getting involved in other shady dealings.

Instead, Manafort is charged with evading taxes and bank fraud related to the money he made providing political consulting services in Ukraine.

Both Manafort and Gates were indicted a year ago on charges of bank and tax fraud as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe.

Gates responded yes. "I made many mistakes over many years", he said.

Mr Downing forced Gates to admit he had stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars from Manafort by filing bogus personal expenses claims and that he had engaged in an extramarital affair and kept an apartment in London for that goal.

During cross examination, Manafort's attorneys pointed out Gates' extramarital affairs, including a woman in London who may have had a hand in the financial crimes Gates to which admitted, Politico reported.

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?"

In a final back and forth between lawyers over Gates's credibility, the focus turned to his decision to plead guilty and cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, which Manafort's defence have portrayed as an attempt to save his own skin.

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III has been pushing prosecutors to hurry through their case.

An FBI forensic accountant is telling the jury in Paul Manafort's financial fraud trial how she traced millions of dollars of payments for mortgages, home improvements and expensive cars, rugs and clothes back to his hidden foreign bank accounts. He initially tried to avoid admitting he purposefully lied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about a 2013 meeting Manafort attended with a USA congressman and tried to avoid using the term "embezzled" in relation to the inflated expense reports he submitted for reimbursement during his employment with Manafort.

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. Gates said the money in these accounts was earned from Manafort's political campaign work. But Trump has shown interest in the proceedings, tweeting support for Manafort. He was so desperate, prosecutors say, that he allegedly falsified loan application documents to keep himself afloat.

"Yes, because I'm here to tell the truth and take responsibility for my actions", Gates replied.

As Manafort came under pressure to pay his bills, he was forced to seek loans, the court heard.

Gates was hired by Manafort to serve as deputy campaign chairman and later had a role on Mr Trump's inaugural committee.

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