Manafort's Lawyers Skewer Rick Gates in Blistering Cross-Examination 'He Embezzled Millions to Fund Secret Life With Mistress'
By: Cristina Laila
Paul Manafort's legal team painted Rick Gates, a former business associate to Manafort as a liar who embezzled millions of dollars to fund his secret life with his mistress in a blistering cross-examination Tuesday.
On Monday, Gates testified he committed crimes while working for Paul Manafort-of course these alleged crimes date back several years ago before Manafort temporarily worked for the Trump campaign.
Gates also testified he helped Manafort file false tax returns and cheated Paul Manafort out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, reported CNN.
On Tuesday, Manafort's lawyers responded by painting Rick Gates as a liar and a thief.
Rick Gates is a 46-year-old married father of four children who admitted to having a mistress in London during his testimony Tuesday morning.
The Daily Mail reported:
Paul Manafort's former deputy Rick Gates admitted to using offshore bank accounts to pay for a secret extramarital affair, including providing a London apartment for his mistress and luxury trips through Europe, during Manafort's tax and bank fraud trial on Tuesday afternoon.
Manafort's defense attorneys accused Gates of embezzling money from the former Trump campaign chairman to fund his 'secret life' and overseas mistress during an explosive exchange at the trial on Tuesday.
Gates also told the court he might have stolen money from the Trump inauguration committee while he was a staffer there after the election.
Gates, a 46-year-old married father of four and the government's key witness in the case, appeared to wither under cross examination from Manafort's attorneys, twitching and fumbling with his words when questioned about what the defense described as his 'secret life.'
'I acknowledge I had a period of time when I had another relationship,' admitted Gates. The woman was not named.
He acknowledged that as part of this relationship he purchased a 'flat in London' and flights to Ukraine, using money from foreign accounts that the defense says Gates stole from Manafort.
Gates acknowledged he also paid for 'fancy hotels' and 'trips to Europe' with around $2.5 million the defense claimed he embezzled.
He said he also used money to travel to Las Vegas for an unrelated work meeting with a movie producer, which he admitted could be considered embezzlement.
Rick Gates appeared nervous on Tuesday, using the phrases "it's possible" and "I don't recall" many times as he was grilled by Manafort's lawyers, reported The Guardian.
Manafort's lawyers continued to erode Gates' credibility. At one point Manafort's lawyer Kevin Downing asked Gates, "After all the lies you've told and fraud you've committed, you expect this jury to believe you?"
"Yes." Gates replied.
More court transcript via The Guardian:
This story is developing..
"When did you start providing false and misleading information to the special counsel's office?" the defence counsel asked bluntly.
Gates struggled so badly to give a straight answer that eventually Judge T S Ellis III was forced to intervene. "Did you provide false information or did you have a bad memory?" he asked.
Gates finally admitted that he had provided false information prior to striking a plea agreement. "I did, to one count, your honour," he said.
He has already admitted embezzling some funds from Manafort. Downing pressed him on the specifics of their business relationship: which payments to Gates were authorised and which were not. Regarding a trading company Manafort had started with a partner in 2011, he asked with deep scepticism: "You're asking the jury to believe Mr Manafort authorised another $250,000 as a bonus?"