Rick Gates, 23 Emails and a Turning Point in the Manafort Trial

Kevin Downing attorney for Paul Manafort walks to the Alexandria Federal Courthouse in Alexandria Va. Monday Aug. 6 2018 for President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Manafort's tax evasion and bank fraud trial. (AP

Rick Gates Set to Testify Against Ex-Boss Paul Manafort

Paul Manafort's former deputy Rick Gates took the stand Monday and admitted to committing crimes with his then-boss.

Special counsel Robert Mueller charged Gates and Paul Manafort past year with dozens of counts related to their lobbying efforts on behalf of foreign governments.

Notably, after urging prosecutors to speed things along as jurors heard from 14 witnesses last week, U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III said late on August 3 that Downing could begin his questioning of Laporta on Monday and wouldn't rush him.

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 says the goal of the fraud was to lower Manafort's tax bill and allow him to defer payment on the income until later years.

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In court on Monday, Gates testified that he did steal from Manafort. Manafort's attorneys have signaled they will seek to blame Gates and have accused him of embezzling millions of dollars from Manafort.

Testifying under immunity, she was the first witness to admit she knew accounting manoeuvrers Mr Manafort and Mr Gates requested of her were wrong and could be crimes.

"This is typically the most important testimony that a "flipper" can give prosecutors - an admission that they committed crimes along with the defendant, along with an explanation of how they did it", Mariotti tweeted on Monday.

Manafort is on trial here facing bank and tax fraud charges.

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Rick Gates has been regarded as a crucial witness for the government ever since he pleaded guilty this year to two felony charges and agreed to cooperate in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into possible ties between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign. Gates also worked for the Trump election campaign.

In a court filing on Monday, prosecutors said they may call Federal Bureau of Investigation forensic accountants Morgan Magionos and Renee Michael to read from Manafort's emails.

But Laporta's testimony raised the stakes for Manafort, legal experts said. In calling Gates, the government will present jurors with the firsthand account of a co-conspirator expected to say Manafort was knee-deep in an alleged scheme to hide millions of dollars from the IRS and defraud several banks.

Testimony from Mr Manafort's tax preparer continued on Monday. 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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Prosecutors said that Manafort used tax-free income stashed in Cyprus accounts to support a lavish lifestyle. This courtroom sketch depicts Paul Manafort , fourth from right, standing with his lawyers in front of U.S.

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