Paul Manafort's Longtime Partner Rick Gates Testifies In Federal Court

Donald Trump campaign aide Rick Gates departs after a status conference at the U.S. District Court following his indictment on tax fraud and money laundering charges in the special counsel's investigation into allege

The trial of Paul Manafort resumes Monday afternoon with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's prosecutors expected to focus less on the lifestyle of the former Trump campaign chairman and more on the financial machinations underpinning the bank fraud and tax charges.

Within moments of taking the stand, Gates - seated just twenty feet from Manafort in the Alexandria, Virginia, courthouse - conceded to jurors that he aided Manafort in committing crimes.

Gates said he conspired with Manafort to falsify tax returns, knowingly failed to report foreign bank accounts and failed to register Manafort as a foreign agent.

The jury has heard how Manafort made tens of millions of dollars for political work with pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine.

Gates has been cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation probe after he cut a plea deal earlier this year.

Rick Gates, Paul Manafort's former business partner, is expected to testify in federal court Monday.

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Gates already pleaded guilty in February to one count of conspiracy against the United States and another count of making false statements to federal investigators. Gates was Manafort's partner in the consultancy. Testifying under immunity, she was the first witness to admit she knew accounting manoeuvres Manafort and Gates requested of her were wrong and could be crimes. When a banker asked about $1.5 million debt that Manafort's company owed to a Cyrus entity called Peranova Holdings Limited, Gates produced a backdated document showing it was forgiven. Last week, another Manafort attorney, Thomas Zehnle, depicted Gates as a liar who embezzled millions of dollars while going behind his boss's back.

Laporta also discussed problems that arose in February 2016 when Manafort needed cash and applied to Citizens Bank for a real-estate loan against property he owned in NY.

The testimony comes hours after Manafort's defense attorneys accused Gates of embezzling as they sought to paint Gates as an untrustworthy witness.

The criminal case has nothing to do with either man's work for the Trump campaign and there's been no discussion during the trial about whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russian Federation - the central question Mueller's team has tried to answer. Gates will follow the testimony of tax preparer Cindy Laporta, who says she came to suspect Gates was misleading her about Manafort's finances.

Earlier Monday, Ellis threatened to kick reporters out of the courtroom if they continue being "disruptive".

"Mr. Manafort requested I make wire transfers from the foreign accounts", Gates said. The alleged crimes occurred before Manafort's time on the Trump campaign, and while the special counsel's mandate is to investigate possible foreign interference in the 2016 elections, Mueller was given latitude to pursue other potential crimes that arose during the course of his investigation.

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