Published: Fri, August 10, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

Gates on the witness stand | LRC Presents: All the President's Lawyers

Gates on the witness stand | LRC Presents: All the President's Lawyers

Bank records were put on display during the eighth day of the trial.

Prosecutors said they plan to conclude their case on Friday.

On Thursday, a series of bank employees told jurors about discrepancies and outright falsehoods contained on Manafort's applications for millions of dollars in loans. Manafort's lawyers have not yet indicated whether they plan to call witnesses as part of his defense.

The bank employees, in emails with Manafort and others, raised concerns they had about Manafort's available cash in his business, the possibility that another property in NY already backed a loan and that the Soho condo was being rented on Airbnb, James testified.

"You knowingly made a false statement to the Federal Bureau of Investigation?"

She said in another instance, Manafort maintained that there were no mortgages on a separate NY property when there actually were.

All the while, Manafort signed paperwork indicating he understood that he could face criminal or civil penalties if he lied to the bank. They also need to prove he did so with intent and not by mistake.

"The underwriter needs a clear picture of all the debts, the monthly debts, of the borrower in order to make an accurate decision on the loan", James said.

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.

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 USA tax authorities. But along the way they've not only faced an aggressive defense team, but a combative relationship with Ellis.

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"It was highly inappropriate to raise the other affairs, and the judge's response was very generous", said Gene Rossi, a former prosecutor who has been watching the trial.

Prosecutors relied on Gates to provide first-hand support of the accusations against Manafort. Plus, why is Judge T.S. Ellis III getting so involved in the trial? For the past few days, Ellis has rebuked the prosecution on several occasions.

Ellis does not allow witnesses - even expert witnesses - to watch the proceedings before they testify, he told Asonye.

Prosecutors showed a 2016 email in which Manafort instructed his son-in-law Jeff Yohai to cover up the fact that Howard St. was a rental ahead of a visit from an appraiser. Both sides agreed ahead of time to limit discussion of the campaign so as not to prejudice the jury, though they had agreed to allow testimony about the overlap of a bank loan with Manafort's role in the campaign.

Paul Manafort's former accountant was sacked from a Virginia firm after she told the court she was aware that Manafort's tax returns contained false information.

Prosecutors had asked Ellis to instruct the jury that they hadn't done anything improper in an attempt to fix any unfair prejudice. Downing asking, drawing an immediate objection from Greg Andres, the special counsel's lead prosecutor.

Manafort is charged with 18 counts of bank and tax fraud, and his trial in Alexandria, Va., is the first to be brought on by indictments from special counsel Robert Mueller.

Gates said he and Manafort created an elaborate operation in Cyprus to use shell companies to secretly accept the money.

Ellis' comment came after a dramatic three days in which Gates, Manafort's protégé, implicated his former boss in a yearslong financial scheme while also enduring stinging attacks on his character and credibility.

Gates' previous testimony underscored how much Gates knew about Manafort's wire transfers and the lies other witnesses have said Manafort told the IRS, tax preparers and his bookkeeper.

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