The deputy of Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort has admitted to criminal activity while working for the political operative and told a court he helped him file false returns.
On the fifth day of the trial of Mr Manafort – who has pleaded not guilty to 18 counts of bank and tax fraud and failing to disclose foreign bank accounts – prosecutors introduced the man they believe could be their star witness – the defendant’s 46-year-old right hand man and deputy.
Mr Gates told the court he was appearing as part of a plea deal – having agreed to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller who is investigating Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 election.
The charges against Mr Manafort relate to the period before he joined Mr Trump’s campaign for five months in 2016 and briefly become its manager in June 2016.
Rather the indictment relates to the period from 2006 to 2016 when prosecutors allege Mr Manafort and Mr Gates ‘generated tens of millions of dollars of income as a result of their Ukraine work’ and hid the profits from the US authorities.