Published: Tue, August 07, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

Manafort Bookkeeper Says He OK'd 'Every Penny'; Gates on Witness List

Manafort Bookkeeper Says He OK'd 'Every Penny'; Gates on Witness List

Though experts believe obstruction by tweet is possible, prosecutors have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a particular act got in the way of an investigation and that the person who did it meant to obstruct.

Cindy Laporta - who knowingly filed a false 2014 tax return on behalf of Manafort - was granted immunity to testify against him in his criminal tax-evasion and bank fraud case.

Some of the maneuvers were at the request of Gates, while others implicated Manafort, Laporta testified. Prosecutors will move to admit those exchanges to the record when Gates takes the stand.

Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort arrives for arraignment on a third superseding indictment against him by Special Counsel Robert Mueller on charges of witness tampering, at US District Court in Washington, US June 15, 2018.

Trump's attorneys and White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders later said the president was expressing his opinion and not giving an order. Prosecutors say that Manafort, a political consultant who made more than $60 million working in Ukraine over that period, failed to report much of that income.

"It kind of engenders some resentment against rich people", Ellis said, expressing concern about displaying photos exhibiting Manafort's wealth. If the jury agrees, Manafort, 69, could spend the rest of his life in prison. He cut a plea deal earlier this year. But a judge could give him less time if prosecutors decide he provided "substantial assistance" to the special counsel's office.

Prosecutors showed emails sent by Manafort and his former business partner Rick Gates to various banks that contained profit and loss statements for Manafort's consulting firm.

Manafort pressed his tax accountant to mislead UBS Group AG about whether Manafort occupied or rented out his Trump Tower apartment in NY, the accountant testified.

Ayliff testified that KWC did not know Manafort controlled Peranova, and that if the transfer was a payment related to his consulting work, it would have been treated as income - not as a loan - on his tax returns.

When Yanukovych became president in 2010, that work became incredibly lucrative, and the two men made tens of millions of dollars from the client dubbed Manafort's "golden goose" by one of their colleagues. But if Manafort is convicted, they won't say it proves Trump is guilty, because this trial does indeed not have much to do with the 2016 campaign.

Laporta also told jurors about another $1.5 million loan on the books of Manafort's company that caused Citizens Bank to balk at issuing a new loan on property Manafort owned in Manhattan. But he says Manafort authorized those discussions, and Gates and Manafort never contradicted each other. Manafort faces 18 charges for financial crimes that carry a maximum penalty of 305 years behind bars.

And those were just Gates's lies to the government.

On Wednesday, prosecutors revealed in court that the former Trump campaign chairman, who's on trial for bank and tax fraud, spent almost $1 million from 2009 to 2014 on clothing at Alan Couture, a luxury menswear store in NY.

For Mueller's team, the strategy is to show that Gates' version of events is supported by documents and other witnesses, and that this version of events contradicts Manafort's claims of innocence.

As the trial continues next week, Manafort's team is expected to attempt to pin this all on Rick Gates, the lobbyist's longtime deputy and colleague on the Trump campaign. Such accounts must be reported to tax authorities if they contain $US10,000 or more.

Trump also repeated his assertion that Manafort "worked for me for a very short time" and questioned why federal investigators didn't "tell me that he was under investigation".

When it came to personal expenses, Manafort "approved every penny of everything we paid", Washkuhn told jurors.

Gates said an associate, Konstantin Kilimnik, had control over the overseas accounts.

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