Paul Manafort’s former right-hand man Rick Gates is currently testifying for his ally’s trial, and although there have only been two days of testifying so far, shocking information has already been released.
Prosecutors managed to gain information about how Gates and Manafort handled their business, especially on how they managed to avoid taxes. Manafort’s defense attempted to decrease the damage to their case by dismissing Gates’ legitimacy. They asked for Gates to mention and create a timeline of events where he lied to the federal government. The man was apparently unable to do so, and the case’s judge had to intervene and help him out. He was also questioned about his interactions with the special counsel’s office and how he was confronted about the tax evasion.
Gates had reportedly been turning in false expense and income reports to pay for his and Manafort’s personal expenses. In one of the trial’s most intense moments, Gates admitted having had an affair about a decade ago. He was asked whether he used his company’s funds for travels to London in this affair, to a hotel where his encounters with his lover took place. Rick Gates mentioned that he only used personal and family funds for financing his affair. Although he and his associate are known for having lied to the government, Manafort’s former ally has stated that he is now fully committed to “tell the truth”.
According to prosecutors, the false information given by Gates to Manafort’s accountants helped both of them to evade taxes on tens of millions of dollars. It reportedly also caused for them to get bank loans worth millions of dollars, one of which came from politicians in Ukraine.
Further details from the trial will come forward as the final days of Gates’ interrogation roll over. While this is a separate investigation from the Mueller-led special counsel one for President Trump, many of the events in hand could lead to a better understanding of Manafort’s ethics and the way he handled the Trump campaign.