Manafort team attacks star witness over affair, fraud and 'so many lies'

Hannah Rogers
August 10, 2018

Paul Manafort recommended Stephen Calk, a Chicago banker involved in approving a loan at the center of Manafort's financial fraud trial, as secretary of the Army, according to testimony Tuesday from star witness Rick Gates. He also has repeatedly made comments that some legal experts said may prejudice the jury against the prosecution.

Gates, who is married and has four children, acknowledged having had a "relationship" a decade ago and admitted to stealing from his boss during a "difficult time" in his life by inflating personal expenses.

Prosecutors have pointed out that Manafort listed the Manhattan loft as a rental on his tax returns in previous years. "Mr. Manafort had the same path", Gates said.

And in one remarkable exchange that the jury did not hear, Ellis told prosecutor Greg Andres to "look at me when you're talking to me", and then suggested Andres had tears in his eyes.

Thursday's testimony was devoid of some of the drama from the last few days, when Gates was confronted about having embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars from Manafort and was forced to admit on the witness stand to an extramarital affair.

But when Downing tried to question Gates on Tuesday about what the special counsel team had asked him about the Trump campaign, Andres objected.

Andres also revisited the embezzlement Gates committed against Manafort.

Manafort also asserted he did not have a mortgage on a different NY property, even though he actually did, James said.

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

For most of the trial, Manafort's lawyers have ceded that numerous financial documents he submitted to the IRS, banks, and his accountants contained falsified information.

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis granted the request, sealing the requested portions of the conversation "until the relevant aspect of the investigation is revealed publicly, if that were to occur".

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Seagal has been accused by many women over the years, including Jenny McCarthy, Portia de Rossi, and Rachel Grant, to name a few. According to Seagal's own website, the 66-year-old has been a regular visitor to Russian Federation for over a decade.

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".

When Trump asked Perlmutter, a friend and confidante, to help put together his government in December 2016, he agreed to be an outside adviser, selected veterans as his focus, and roped in two other friends, Palm Beach doctor Bruce Moskovitz and lawyer Marc Sherman, Arnsdorf says.

"I see no way that Judge Ellis' responses will not have an impact", said Joshua Dressler, an Ohio State University law professor.

Prosecutors said they plan to conclude their case on Friday. He was so desperate, prosecutors say, that he allegedly falsified loan application documents to keep himself afloat.

Gates said Monday that over the years, Manafort directed him to make payments through wire transfers.

Melinda James, a mortgage assistant at Citizens Bank, testified Thursday that Manafort provided incorrect information in applying for a $3.4 million loan on a Manhattan condominium that was granted on March 4, 2016.

Manafort, Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, is charged with 18 counts of tax and banking crimes and has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Ellis told the jury Thursday that he was "probably wrong" in his belief Wednesday that he had told prosecutors none of their witnesses would be allowed to observe the trial.

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.

"Judge Ellis seems to want the lawyers to try the case the way he would try the case", said Gillers.

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