Manafort defence attorneys rip into star prosecution witness

10 Août, 2018, 02:59 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Paul Manafort

The trial of Paul Manafort, U.S. President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, is expected to shift focus on Thursday from his alleged tax evasion to bank fraud as the prosecution's case heads into its final two days.

Andres sought to rehabilitate Gates with a series of rapid-fire questions about financial machinations underpinning the tax- and bank-fraud case against Manafort.

Gates, who pleaded guilty and is cooperating with Mueller's prosecutors, testified in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, that he helped Manafort falsify documents and move millions of dollars from offshore accounts that were hidden from us tax authorities.

"I admitted to a previous relationship", Gates said, adding that he maintained a flat for about two months. Downing said, according to NBC News.

Ellis had heatedly confronted prosecutor Uzo Asonye, saying he hadn't authorized Welch to watch the entirety of the trial.

In an aggressive cross-examination on Tuesday, Manafort's lead attorney Downing said to Gates: "You stole from Mr. Manafort".

On Wednesday, Gates initially testified Manafort told him to be truthful during a 2014 interview with the Federal Bureau of Investigation about offshore shell companies and bank accounts that contained millions of dollars in proceeds from their Ukrainian political work.

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.

U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis III, a 78-year-old jurist with a reputation for being tough on lawyers in his courtroom, showed none of the temper he's flashed throughout the trial, now in its second week in Alexandria, Va., and instead instructed the jury to disregard his remarks made the day before excoriating prosecutors for allowing an expert government witness to sit in the courtroom before he testified.

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And IRS agent Michael Welch said Manafort used his foreign income for purchases that included a yacht, horseback riding, Italian villa rental and cosmetic dentistry. Witnesses are usually excluded from watching unless allowed by the judge.

But in their filing, prosecutors attached a transcript showing that in fact Ellis had approved the request a week before. They say his outburst prejudiced the jury by suggesting they had acted improperly. Prosecutors agreed to drop a wide variety of additional charges against Gates in exchange for his guilty pleas and cooperation against Manafort.

Gates, who also worked on Trump's campaign, is the star witness against 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.

"Judges should be patient". 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.

Gates, 46, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy and is cooperating with the government as it prosecutes Manafort for allegedly evading USA taxes on tens of millions of dollars earned from political consulting work they did together in Ukraine from 2006 to 2014. "I'm trying to change".

Although Manafort is not on trial for anything he did while working for Trump, the case is being seen as a key test for the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who brought the charges. "I already admitted on the record that I took unauthorised funds from Mr Manafort".

The face-off between longtime business associates and former senior members of the Trump campaign drew scores of people who waited in line for hours outside the courthouse and then jammed into both the courtroom and an overflow room that contained a video feed of the proceedings.

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