Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's federal trial continued Monday, with an appearance from star witness Rick Gates, reports Politico.
Gates, a longtime Manafort associate, took the stand to testify against his former colleague, who is accused of bank and tax fraud. Gates pleaded guilty in February to felony charges of conspiracy and lying to the FBI, and he is now cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller as investigators probe the Trump campaign's role in Russian election interference. Manafort has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Gates testified that he was "involved in criminal activity with Mr. Manafort," and said that the two committed crimes together, MSNBC reported. He additionally said that he and Manafort had 15 foreign bank accounts that they did not report to the federal government, knowing it was illegal. They omitted the accounts from legal documents "at Mr. Manafort's direction," he reportedly testified. Gates also admitted to stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from Manafort, which the defense has used to argue that Manafort was merely victim to Gates' crimes.
Manafort and Gates worked together on pro-Russia lobbying in Ukraine, and Gates later admitted to making false statements about the work. He also pleaded guilty to hiding millions of dollars that the two earned through their consulting work. Read more at Politico. Summer Meza