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Takeaways from Day 7 of the Manafort Trial

Takeaways from Day 7 of the Manafort Trial

Manafort has pleaded not guilty to 18 counts of bank fraud, tax fraud and failing to disclose foreign bank accounts.

"Generally, when a person's testimony is corroborated by objective evidence - whether that be a recording, a document, or something else - it makes it hard to attack that by just attacking the witness's credibility", a former USA attorney with experience prosecuting similar fraud cases said.

The trial in federal court, which finished its seventh day on Wednesday, is the first stemming from Mueller's probe into Russian involvement in the 2016 US presidential election.

He badgered Gates into admitting that he had engaged in an extramarital affair with a woman in London roughly 10 years ago and briefly questioned Gates about three other affairs before prosecutors objected.

Paul Manafort hid more than 30 offshore accounts in three types of currencies from the IRS, according to an Federal Bureau of Investigation forensic accountant testifying in the former Trump campaign chairman's trial. Before the final bang - or was it a whimper? - prosecutors had their own opportunity Wednesday morning to revisit with Gates exactly what he had done by way of financial crimes, and the steep, lifelong outcome of prison time he could face if he told the jury inaccuracies about Manafort. Manafort's defence team's has tried to pin much of the blame for financial crimes on Gates and raise doubts about his ethics and morals. Manafort also included Calk on a list he emailed to Gates of people he wanted to invite to Trump's inauguration.

Gates did stumble a few times on the stand. Previously, Gates revealed to the court and to the Special Counsel's Office that he had stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars from Manafort out of the foreign accounts when he faked expense reports. Gates, a married father of four, had testified he used his firm's money to carry on the affair.

Of course, Trump was not involved in these alleged crimes. Mr Gates also said he may have submitted personal expenses for reimbursement by Mr Trump's inaugural committee, which he helped operate.




Although the allegations of collusion between Donald Trump and Russian Federation are not at issue in this trial, any significant blows to the government's case are likely be seized on by the president's defenders, including conservative media, to support his contention that Mueller's investigation is a "rigged witch-hunt". The crimes Manafort allegedly committed do not have bearing on that central question, but they were uncovered in the course of the special counsel investigation; this is the first trial resulting from Mueller's probe.

In a tense day in court, the campaign strategist's longtime deputy, Rick Gates, told jurors how the pair were paid by Ukrainian oligarchs for their work as political consultants in the country.

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.

Gates pleaded guilty in February to conspiracy and making false statements in exchange for his testimony against Manafort and cooperation with the Special Counsel's office. Gates had testified earlier in the trial about one extra-marital affair.

Gates's testimony wrapped moment later. But he could be seen twitching under cross examination by Downing, blinking hard as he faced the defense lawyer and sucking in his lips. 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?"

Prosecutor Greg Andres pointed out he had created a "loan forgiveness letter between Mr. Manafort and Mr. Manafort".


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