Paul Manafort trial day 8: Prosecutors expect to wrap up case soon

Cheryl Sanders
August 10, 2018

Prosecutors in Paul Manafort's financial fraud trial say they have eight witnesses left and expect to rest their case Friday.

Prosecutor Greg Andres addressed the defense lawyer's questions about whether the special counsel's office had coached Gates on how to testify. After a back-and-forth discussion about how much income should be reclassified as a loan to aid Manafort, they settled on $900,000, she testified.

In testimony on Thursday, mortgage assistant Melinda James of Citizens Bank told the court that Manafort lied about the status of two properties he owned in order to obtain a $3.4 million loan.

Welch is a 34-year IRS veteran and worked on more than 500 criminal investigations. But Trump has shown interest in the proceedings, tweeting support for Manafort and suggesting he has been treated worse than gangster Al Capone. Gates recounted how he and Manafort used more than a dozen offshore shell companies and bank accounts in Cyprus to funnel the money, all while concealing the accounts and the income from the IRS. He also admitted to embezzling money from other employers in the past.

Magionos said she reviewed documents spanning from 2010 to 2014 from the Bank of Cyprus, Hellenic Bank, Royal Bank and HSBC Group AG accounts in the United Kingdom.

FBI forensic accountant Morgan Magionos walked jurors through her special counsel-ordained investigation that revealed how Manafort purchased luxury goods back in the USA through foreign bank accounts. She said Manafort's passport was used to open many of them in USA dollars, euros and British pounds. That man, Konstantin Kilimnik, is charged along with Manafort with witness tampering in a separate case.


The judge has subjected the prosecution to repeated tongue-lashings over the pace of their questioning, their massive amount of trial exhibits and even their facial expressions.

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

Ellis encouraged both the prosecution and the defense to not try his patience with unnecessary objections or other delays. He finished his testimony Wednesday, Day 7 of the trial.

According to reports from the courtroom, Ellis has repeatedly clashed with prosecutors during the trial and refused to allow them to present some evidence.

Paul Manafort's attorney Kevin Downing on Wednesday asked whether longtime Manafort deputy Rick Gates had four extramarital affairs - and not just one overseas 10 years ago - implying that Gates might have lied to special counsel Robert Mueller's team and could put his plea deal in jeopardy.

Gates, who is 46 and married, admitted: "There was a period in my life, about 10 years ago, when I had a relationship, yes".


The eye-popping figures summed up a key portion of the prosecution's case following the conclusion of Manafort deputy Rick Gates' dramatic three-day testimony, during which he detailed how he and Manafort had 15 undisclosed foreign bank accounts and had falsified financial documents. However, Gates also said the agents did not ask about tax returns and "the majority of the Cypriot accounts were closed" at the stage.

Special counsel Robert Mueller's team is reportedly asking Judge T.S. Ellis, who is overseeing the trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, to tell the jury he crossed the line by attacking prosecutors.

The interview was part of an FBI investigation that sought to recover assets looted from the Ukrainian government under former president Viktor Yanukovych. Manafort has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Rick Gates, Manafort's long-time deputy, came in for a withering cross-examination as he took the stand in a packed federal courtroom in Alexandria, Virginia.

But it was Gates' testimony that has generated the most drama, as the witness admitted embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from his boss, confessed to an extramarital affair and turned in spectacular fashion against a longtime mentor.

A Manafort lawyer has accused the government's star witness of being immersed in "so many lies" that he can't even remember them all.


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