Gates admits he cheated on wife at Manafort trial

This week, Paul Manafort's former right-hand man, Rick Gates, took the witness stand at the trial of the former Trump campaign manager, and Trevor Noah of "The Daily Show" found his testimony hilarious.

Rick Gates, the government's star witness, recounted how he and Manafort used more than a dozen offshore shell companies and bank accounts in Cyprus to funnel the money, all while concealing the accounts and the income from the IRS. His defence team is seeking to pin the blame on Gates, who they say was responsible for day-to-day operations of the business. "Mr. Manafort had the same path. I thought he was needlessly evasive and argumentative", said Barbara McQuade, a former U.S. Attorney in MI who has been watching the trial and said she observed jurors reacting with negative body language as he testified.

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. So frequent were Gates's crimes that he could not answer definitively when asked if he had stolen money from the Trump inauguration committee, for which he served as deputy chairman.

Manafort's former bookkeeper Heather Washkuhn testified last week that Manafort falsely reported to Federal Savings Bank that his company DMP International pulled in $3 million the first nine months of 2016 when it actually lost more than $1 million from January through November. Gates testified on Tuesday that the email chain took place when Manafort's accountants revealed that the actual amount owed by Manafort in taxes would be higher than they had projected earlier. Gates and Manafort were not targets of the Federal Bureau of Investigation at the time of the interview.

Manafort, the high-powered political consultant, is facing 18 counts and a maximum 305-year prison sentence if the Eastern Virginia jury finds him guilty. Gates also said Manafort floated banker Stephen Calk's name for consideration as Secretary of the Army, a post he ultimately did not get.

Manafort and Gates were the first two people indicted in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into potential ties between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign. Instead, prosecutors for Mueller have accuse Manafort of hiding at least $30 million that he earned while representing Russia's neighboring country of Ukraine and its president, Viktor Yanukovych, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Prosecutors relied on Gates to provide first-hand support of the accusations against Manafort.

Under questioning, Gates said he may have submitted personal expenses for reimbursement by Trump's inaugural committee, which he helped operate. Gates said he was guilty, having wired money from Cyprus through the United Kingdom to the U.S. without paying taxes on it for himself.

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At first, Gates merely noted that in March 2016 Manafort hired him to work for "one of the presidential candidates".

Gates not only testified that he had committed crimes with Manafort but also admitted he stole money from his former boss.

Rick Gates has been the government's star witness in Manafort's financial fraud trial, testifying how, at the behest of his longtime boss, he helped hide millions of dollars in foreign income and submitted fake mortgage and tax documents.

"Mr Manafort directed me to not report those accounts", Gates testified.

Gates converted the 2015 DMP P&L to a Word document for Manafort, but there were spacing, font, and other discrepancies between that copy and the original.

But as soon as Downing asked about "the secret life of Rick Gates", the witness volunteered, "There was a period of time, nearly ten years ago, when I had a relationship, yes".

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

Downing repeatedly referred to Gates' extramarital affair with a woman in London - for whom he paid for a flat - as his "secret life".

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