‘Secret life’: Rick Gates forced to reveal affair at Manafort trial

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The star witness in Paul Manafort's financial fraud trial says the former Trump campaign chairman told him to be truthful about offshore shell companies and bank accounts during a 2014 interview with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. There have been exceptions, like when Gates said that he might have also embezzled from the Trump inauguration committee by inflating his expenses, and when he testified about how Manafort reached out to talk about securing a banker who loaned him money tickets to the inauguration and potentially a position in the administration.

Gates appeared nervous on the witness stand at the court in Alexandria, Virginia, blinking frequently, his throat apparently dry as he spoke.

And IRS agent Michael Welch said Manafort used his foreign income for purchases that included a yacht, horseback riding, Italian villa rental and cosmetic dentistry.

"The only answer I was told was to tell the truth", Gates replied. "I am trying to change".

On Thursday, they also asked Ellis to seal portions of a bench conversation that came during the testimony of Gates, Manafort's longtime deputy, because "substantive evidence" in an ongoing investigation was discussed.

Gates explained that Manafort's financial difficulties worsened in 2014, when Viktor Yanukovych was no longer in power and the Party of Regions disintegrated.

"Let me clear, I don't care what the transcript said ... don't do it again", he barked, with jurors looking on.

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.

James' testimony comes after prosecutors presented days of evidence supporting the tax evasion charges against Manafort.

Manafort and Gates were the first two individuals indicted in Mueller's investigation into potential collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.

Mr Gates, the prosecution's star witness, recounted how he and Mr Manafort used offshore shell companies and bank accounts in Cyprus to funnel the money, all while failing to declare the income to the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

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The questioning of Paul Manafort's protege during the political consultant's financial fraud trial has turned confrontational and personal, focusing on Rick Gates' own crimes as well as an extramarital affair and a plea agreement.

The trial is the first stemming from special counsel Robert Mueller's 14-month investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.

Gates, who was indicted along with Manafort, pleaded guilty and is cooperating with an investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

"The Ukrainians", Gates said, adding a layer to his statement Tuesday that he had stolen "Mr. Manafort's money".

Manafort is charged with 18 counts of tax and banking crimes and has pleaded not guilty to all charges. He said of Manafort: "I believe he understood his name would not be represented, nor would mine". "I already admitted on the record that I took unauthorised funds from Mr Manafort". "But like any human, and this robe doesn't make me anything other than human, I sometimes make mistakes".

She identified Manafort as the person in control of the 31 foreign bank accounts.

The terms of Manafort's loan also allowed him to withdraw cash from the bank, and Miceli testified that was not allowed for loans against investment properties.

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

Ellis has said he did not like having witnesses listen to the proceedings before they take the stand but the prosecution had previously requested case agents and experts be allowed.

Magionos testified that she reviewed 31 accounts tied to Manafort in Cyprus, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the United Kingdom, and Manafort was listed as the beneficial owner on at least some of them.

Manafort was chairman of Donald Trump's presidential campaign, and his longtime deputy was part of the campaign, too.

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