Trevor Noah: Why Paul Manafort Must Be So Proud

Paul Manafort

Paul Manafort

In a tense day in court, the campaign strategist's longtime deputy, Rick Gates, told jurors how the pair were paid by Ukrainian oligarchs for their work as political consultants in the country.

The first made clear Manafort was upset about his 2014 tax bill. That admission came during a line of questioning from the defense about the $2.7 million to $3 million Gates admitted he embezzled from Manafort.

Manafort, 69, has pleaded not guilty to 18 counts of bank fraud, tax fraud and failing to disclose foreign bank accounts containing tens of millions of dollars earned from work for Russian-backed politicians in Ukraine. He's expected to go for at least another hour in questioning with Manafort's attorney's.

Through all the defense team's bluster and Gates' confessions, Downing did not press the star witness into what his side had previously alleged.

Prosecutor Greg Andres had objected to the defense using the affair against Gates, saying the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled "that if somebody cheats on their wife or whatever, it's not necessarily indicative of truthfulness".

"When did you start providing false and misleading information to the special counsel's office?" the defence counsel asked bluntly.

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

He also said Manafort had asked him to disguise income as loans.

Musk says he may take Tesla private and shares roar
Tesla now has a market value around $60 billion, which would make its take-private price tag about $80 billion, Galloway said. Elon Musk is considering taking Tesla Inc private, the chief executive officer of the electric auto maker tweeted on Tuesday.

In prosecutors' questioning, then in a combative cross-examination from the defense team, Gates revealed the extent to which he had siphoned money from his boss and committed a host of other misdeeds. He scoffed at the idea that Gates had repented for his actions, noting that prosecutors have said they won't oppose his bid for probation and getting him to acknowledge he had not repaid the money he had taken from Manafort. "I'm trying to change". 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.

Gates also said Mr Manafort had directed him to report money wired from his foreign bank accounts as loans to reduce Mr Manafort's taxable income.

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

A clothier said he sold Manafort more than $900,000 in suits, a bookkeeper says she helped disguise foreign income as a loan to reduce Manafort's tax burden and, on Wednesday, an Federal Bureau of Investigation forensic account said Manafort hid more than 30 offshore accounts in three types of currencies from the IRS. Manafort also included Calk on a list he emailed to Gates of people he wanted to invite to Trump's inauguration.

In the six days since the trial began, the jury has heard from 15 witnesses including two of Manafort's former accountants and his former bookkeeper. Downing pressed him on the specifics of their business relationship: which payments to Gates were authorised and which were not. "We need to discuss Steve Calk for Sec (retary) of the Army", Manafort wrote to Gates in an email on November 24, 2016.

Paul Manafort's protégé on Wednesday wrapped up his testimony after implicating the former Trump campaign chairman and himself in financial crimes and also enduring stinging attacks on his character and credibility. But Trump has shown interest in the proceedings, tweeting support for Manafort.

Michael Zeldin, a former federal prosecutor, said that in Downing's remaining hour of cross-examination on Wednesday, he needs to keep painting Gates as an unreliable person who can not be trusted.

And Gates faced fraud charges from the special counsel after it discovered he had written a letter to a Swiss movie production company falsely claiming that his own production company was investing in a film project by his friend, Steve Brown.

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