Tuesday, August 7, 2018

I Don't Think the Government's Case is Going Well

8/7/18 Washington Post reports that the government's main witness against Manafort (for crimes allegedly before his work for Trump, and unrelated to the Trump campaign) admitted embezzling money from Manafort to pay for an extramarital affair:
Just before the jury left for the day, Rick Gates echoed other prosecution witnesses in saying Paul Manafort kept a close eye on his financial affairs.
“Mr. Manafort in my opinion kept fairly frequent updates,” Gates said, after a discussion of movement between their consulting firm’s offshore accounts. “Mr. Manafort was very good at knowing where the money was and where it was going.”
Judge Ellis, as he has repeatedly, interjected.
“He didn’t know about the money you were stealing,” Ellis said, “so he didn’t do it that closely.”
The comment by the judge goes to a question at the heart of the trial — how much fraud could possibly have gone on under Manafort’s nose without his knowledge.
I think the jury may have trouble trusting Gates' word.  Even better Gates admitted that had he been prosecuted he would have been facing 50-100 years in prison.  Sounds like a good reason to turn states' evidence, regardless of the truth.

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