Manafort's Lawyers Allege Gates Lived A 'Secret Life'

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Downing peppered gates with questions about what the defense dubbed "the secret life of Rick Gates".

Gates then admitted to having "another relationship" years ago, in which he cheated on his wife with a mistress in London.

According to Gates, he worked with Manafort on ways to "reduce his overall tax liability", including by falsifying loans that were actually income.

"In essence, I was living beyond my means", Gates testified.

After hours of cross-examination of the prosecution's star witness, Manafort's lawyer offered this assessment: "Mr. Manafort had a great day".

"It's embezzlement is it not?" A $1 million payment for work in 2014 was "significantly past due" and "Mr. Manafort was quite upset the money had not been sent", Gates told the court.

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"Why won't you say it's embezzlement?" he asked. These accounts, Gates added, predated his tenure at Manafort's DMP International. Gates did not recall.

Gates elicited laughs from the crowd when he said he liked Downing's first answer.

"The income streams were more hard to come by", he said of that time. "In excess of 50 to 100 years". But Gates pleaded guilty months later and agreed to cooperate in Mueller's investigation of Manafort, the only American charged by the special counsel to opt for trial instead of a guilty plea.

"I'm not sure I told them that or not", Gates replied. While outside the scope of the trial, Mueller is also investigating whether Trump campaign members coordinated with Russian officials, an allegation President Donald Trump denies.

"In essence, you had four people setting up a Cypriot entity", but without the name of the person in charge appearing on most of the documents. Gates said he was there to tell the truth and accept responsibility.

The email exchange about Calk occurred after Manafort left the Trump campaign but while Gates was active on the Trump inauguration committee.

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"I haven't", Gates replied, explaining that the money went into his personal accounts and was spent over the years.

Gates was visibly nervous during Downing's relentless questioning.

Gates was asked whether that $900,000 payment was, in fact, a loan.

In applying for a loan from Banc of California, Gates said the income from Manafort's company was inflated by $6 million.

"Why is that?" prosecutor Greg Andres asked.

Prosecutors are working to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Manafort hid income he earned working as a political consultant in the Ukraine from the IRS in accounts overseas and committed bank fraud when the money dried up.

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