Rick Gates testifies he and Manafort conspired to commit fraud, and he embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars from Manafort

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During his testimony, Gates read out loud the language from his indictment charging him with conspiracy and making false statements to the government.

“Who did you conspire with?” the prosecutor asked.

“Paul Manafort,” Gates replied.

Gates testified that he and Manafort under-reported income and failed to file FBAR, or Foreign Bank Account Report, forms.

Gates said that Manafort requested “over the years” that Gates make wire transfers from foreign accounts “primarily in Cyprus,” and those funds were not reported.

Gates also testified that he lied to Manafort’s bookkeeper and accountants.

He replied “yes” when asked if he knew it was a crime not to file those reports.

Gates also admitted to embezzling “several hundred thousand” dollars from Manafort while working for him.

After the jury was dismissed for the day, there were fireworks as U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis III lit into Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team, telling the prosecution to expedite its case against Manafort.

During the back-and-forth, Ellis admonished the prosecutor for not looking at him while speaking. “Look at me! Don’t look down!”

Andres responded that he was looking at a relevant document, but the exchange got more heated. “You looked down as if to say: that’s B.S.!” Ellis said. – READ MORE

President Trump has reportedly been privately venting about the trial of his former campaign head Paul Manafort, believing that it is an attempt by special counsel Robert Mueller to embarrass him.

The Washington Post reported Saturday that Trump thinks both the media and Mueller are using this week’s trial on Manafort’s bank and tax fraud charges to try to undercut his presidency.

“He is completely outraged by the way Manafort has been treated, with the solitary confinement and all of that,” Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani told the Post. “It’s obvious to him that they’re all but torturing Manafort in order to try to get him to flip.”

The trial is the first in Mueller’s probe into Russia’s election interference, which the president has long claimed is rigged against him and is a “witch hunt.” Manafort has pleaded not guilty to the charges.- READ MORE

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