Global News

‘Secret life’: Rick Gates forced to reveal affair at Manafort trial

‘Secret life’: Rick Gates forced to reveal affair at Manafort trial

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

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 objective.

"He had these two guys running his campaign!" Gates also said he may have submitted personal expenses for reimbursement by Trump's inaugural committee, which he helped operate.

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

Defense lawyer Kevin Downing began his cross-examination of Gates on Tuesday, accusing Gates of being immersed in "so many lies" he can't remember them all and demanded to know how a jury could possibly trust him.

A U.S. Internal Revenue Service agent testified on Wednesday that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who is on trial on tax and bank fraud charges, had $16.5 million in unreported taxable business income between 2010 and 2014.

Gates admitted to hiding his own income from the IRS in offshore bank accounts.

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.

During his second day of testimony, Gates said Manafort used members from a Cyprus-based law firm as ghost directors of the shell companies through a director known as "Doctor K", who set up a series of bank accounts in order to disguise Manafort's connection to the Ukraine, USA Today reported. On Tuesday, Downing straight out asked Gates: "After all the lies you've told and fraud you've committed, you expect this jury to believe you?"




But after a lengthy conference between lawyers before U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III, Downing asked Gates only about the time span of his "secret life". The defense moved on. That includes even using his position as Trump campaign chairman to sway a banker for a few more million dollars, according to court filings and previous testimony.

During his testimony Monday, Gates admitted he had embezzled money from Manafort by creating false expense reports on his own behalf.

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?"

Gates added that Manafort also wanted to give the businessman a heads-up about the FBI's interest in the offshore accounts as part of the USA government's efforts to recover assets stolen under former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

"Those appear to be substantially different, don't they?" defense attorney Richard Westling asked Magionos, showing her Manafort's signatures on a loan application to the Bank of California and one of the foreign banking documents.

See more from the judge in the clip above, including his thoughts on the testimony of Rick Gates, a former business partner of Manafort.

The exchange between Gates and Manafort's team could be a key moment in the first case that Mueller's team has taken to trial as part of its broad investigation into Russian election meddling. 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.

The case against Manafort has little to do with either man's work for the Trump campaign and there's been no discussion during the trial about whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russian Federation - the central question Mueller's team has tried to answer.

Trump has recently sought to distance himself from Manafort, tweeting that the former top campaign official "worked for me for a very short time".