Get your popcorn ready because this show is getting GOOD! Rick Gates has been testifying for days as this federal court business with Paul Manafort comes with every ounce of drama you could only find on a good late night cable television show. Just as Gates wrapped up his testimony, the defense lawyers dropped a few megaton bombs on him with some brutal questions that aimed straight for the heart and asked about his infidelity.
Gates already acknowledged an extramarital affair, that took place in London, while he was working for Manafort.
Manafort’s attorney, Kevin Downing, wanted more. He kind of accused Gates of having multiple affairs, four in particular, in an attempt to catch Gates telling a lie. Perhaps this was a way to show he wasn’t a credible person to have on the stand. What good is his word if he gets caught in a lie, right? Nope. It was objected. Gates couldn’t answer.
But on Wednesday, Manafort attorney Kevin Downing seemed to accuse Gates of having affairs with multiple individuals, asking Gates whether he disclosed four affairs to the special counsel’s office. The question was part of an apparent bid to catch Gates in a lie, after he testified that his plea agreement would be in jeopardy if he doesn’t tell the truth on the stand.
Gates at one point had tried to sound sad and remorseful on the stand, even saying “I’ve made many mistakes over many years,” but he was pretty much told by a judge that now wasn’t the time for his apologetic schpiel.
This just exploded and now there’s even mention of an attempt to paint Gates as having a “secret life” in hopes to show character flaws.
If there’s a secret life going on, then we better get the details!!!
Fox News stated more: “For the previous two days in court, Gates has testified that he and Manafort committed bank and tax fraud together.
Both Manafort and Gates were indicted last year on charges of bank and tax fraud as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe. But prosecutors dropped charges against Gates after the former business partner took a plea deal and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.
During cross-examination on Tuesday, the defense painted Gates as living a “secret life” in London and accused him of embezzling money from Manafort’s foreign accounts at center of the trial to indulge in an extramarital affair in the United Kingdom.
“I’ve acknowledged there was a period where I had another relationship,” said Gates, who is married.
In an aggressive cross-examination on Tuesday, Manafort’s lead attorney Downing said to Gates: “You stole from Mr. Manafort.”
Downing accused Gates of lying on expense reports to make trips to London and around Europe.
Gates admitted during testimony on Monday to embezzling money from Manafort. But on Tuesday, he denied using that money to finance his extramarital relationship, saying he used “bonus money” and “family money.”
The questioning is part of the Manafort defense strategy of presenting Gates to the jury as someone who lies and cannot be trusted.
Downing summed up his questioning by asking Gates: “After all these lies, and the fraud you have committed, you expect this jury to believe you?”
“I am here to tell the truth and to take responsibility for my actions. Mr. Manafort had the same path,” Gates said. “I am here. I have accepted responsibility and I am trying to change.”
What happens next is only a matter of time and up to the people of the court to figure it out.