#ManafortTrial Thread -
On rebuttal, prosecutor Greg Andres used his remaining 15 minutes to argue the special counsel’s case by reminding jurors of a few facts.
The defense wants you to believe this is about Gates but they haven’t explained the dozens of documents Mr. Manafort authored or wrote himself,” Andres said.
Referring to an email from Philip Ayliff to Paul Manafort where Ayliff asked Manafort if he had any foreign bank accounts to disclose ahead of tax preparation, Andres reminded jurors Rick Gates was not anywhere on the “from line, the to line, or the subject line” of the email.
#ManafortTrial Closing Arguments Thread -
Prosecutor Andres emphasized to jurors: “If you have any doubt that he’s guilty of bank fraud or conspiracy to commit bank fraud at the Federal Savings Bank, then...
all you need to remember is that he sent a fake profit and loss sheet to Federal Savings Bank. And you will recall from testimony by his tax preparer Heather Washkuhn that Davis Manafort Partners had no income at this time [but it was not reflected this way].”
“Remember, he lied about where he lived and liens on his property. He altered some documents and backdated others,” Andres said.
#ManafortTrial Thread - Update.
Def attorney Richard Westling told Judge Ellis they will not call forward any witnesses. Manafort opted to forgo his right to testify. For the first time since the trial began nearly two weeks ago, Manafort spoke.
Judge Ellis first asked Manafort if he had an opportunity to confer with his attorneys ahead of resting their case.
“I have, your honor,” Manafort said.
Ellis then asked him if he was satisfied with his attorney’s legal representation.
“I am, your honor,” he replied.
The judge then asked Manafort if he wished to testify on his own behalf.
“No, sir,” Manafort said.
Before the attorneys rested their case, Judge Ellis denied the defense attorneys motion to acquit Manafort of four of the 32 counts he faces.
🚨EVERY DAY now Trump abuses his power🚨. Today he is tainting the #ManafortTrial jury, in day 2 of deliberations: "I think the whole Manafort trial is very sad…He happens to be a very good person. It's very said what they've done to Paul Manafort."
Trump abuse of power du jour—weighing in on #ManafortTrial as the jury deliberates—is welcomed by Manafort attorney: "We were very happy to hear from the president, that he's supporting Mr Manafort." What a mockery of American justice, hoping for mistrial.
The latest updates from the #ManafortTrial here. THREAD -
Judge T.S. Ellis III has said he will instruct jurors that they cannot find Manafort guilty for omissions made by his company since the indictment doesn’t name his entities but only him as an individual.
That information can be used, however, as evidence to determine Manafort’s intent or “willfulness” to omit information about the entities on his personal tax returns, Judge Ellis told attorneys after jurors were dismissed from the gallery.
Ellis will now consider the defense attorney’s motions to acquit following his decision to allow additional testimony from Paula Liss, a special agent with the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
Last wk, the court questioned whether Manafort’s allegedly fraudulent representations to FSB to obtain a total of $16 million in loans "could be material" if FSB chairman and CEO Steve Calk, intended to grant Manafort the loans in exchange for a spot in the Trump admin anyway
Picking up on the court’s comments, the defense suggested that Manafort could not have defrauded the bank if Calk knew Manafort’s representations were false," the 9-page brief states.
More from the #ManafortTrial today - THREAD:
Irfan Kirimca, senior director of ticket operations for the New York Yankees also testified Friday afternoon.
Kirimca corroborated earlier testimony from Gates, saying that when he searched the Yankees season ticket holders database at the government’s request ahead of trial, he “never” found any records indicating Gates purchased season tickets.
Gates wasn’t even in the database, Kirimica told prosecutors.
Prosecutors also heard testimony from Andrew Chojnowski, the chief operating officer at Federal Savings Bank.
#ManafortTrial has had its share of laughs, if you can believe it. This gem for example: During redirect of Dennis Raico, prosecutor Greg Andres elicited big laughs from the judge and from those in the gallery.
Asking Raico if Manafort signed a declaration acknowledging it was a federal crime to falsify statements on his loan application, Judge Ellis interrupted.
“Shouldn’t this question be on direct?” Ellis asked.
“Your honor, it was, I forgot,” Andres said.
Ellis jokingly says: “Confession is good for the soul.”
Andres didn’t miss a beat.
“My soul is in pretty good shape,” he said, smiling. “At least it should be after this.”
The court erupted in laughter.
#ManafortTrial Thread - More from Dennis Raico direct examination -
In another email from Raico’s assistant to Tom Horn, an underwriter who sits on the credit committee at Federal Savings Bank, the assistant wrote that she “spoke to Paul” and got info for Manafort loan app.
According to Raico, there were “discrepancies” in Manafort’s income and tax returns.
“What do you mean by discrepancies?” Andres asked.
“A plus B didn’t equal C all the time,” Raico said.
A $300,000 outstanding balance on Manafort’s American Express card for season tickets to the New York Yankees was one of the “discrepancies,” Raico said. Raico said in February 2016, it was Manafort who told him he had lent the card to Richard Gates.
#ManafortTrial Update - Thread - FSB's Steve Calk asked for Dept of Treasury spot, Dennis Raico testifies.
Here's the breakdown:
Prosecutor Greg Andres asked Raico to summarize an email displayed in court from August 3, 2016.
In the email, Paul Manafort requested Raico provide him with a copy of Steve Calk’s resume.
“Why did he make this request?” Andres said.
“He wanted to serve in the Trump administration,” Raico replied.
“Were you often asked to pass messages between Mr. Manafort and Mr. Calk?”
Raico said he was and that it frequently made him “uncomfortable.”
#ManafortTrial Update. THREAD -
We are getting off to a slow start this morning following a lengthy bench conference with all parties.
At the close of the government’s direct examination Thursday, Judge Ellis made a comment that the government “might want to spend time on a loan that was granted.”
This, according to a curative instruction for the jury filed by the special counsel’s team Friday morning, “misrepresents the law regarding bank fraud conspiracy, improperly conveys the court’s opinion of the facts and it is likely to confuse and mislead the jury.”
1. Here is what actually happened in #ManafortTrial
Today Mueller team called expert IRS witness to stand Judge Ellis wasn’t happy because he thought (incorrectly) he’d ruled to not admit experts because that is his typical procedure.
2. Asonye reminds him that in fact this witness was cleared to stay (true) and Judge Ellis says fair enough, it might be what transcript says but wants to remind Asonye (who appears frequently in his court) that it’s not typical he also says it’s not a big deal.
3. Transcripts show that this expert witness was in fact allowed to stay, hand it to Mueller’s team for cleverly calling him an IRS agent because case agents are allowed to remain. Also fail on Manafort team for not objecting unless they have a plan🤷🏼♀️
#ManafortTrial developments. (1/2)
In a motion filed Thursday afternoon, SPC Mueller's team has asked that a portion of a sidebar conference on Aug 7 remain under seal.
According to the motion, this was during Gates cross examination. And if the transcript were published in full, "it would reveal substantive evidence pertaining to an ongoing government investigation," the motion states.
#ManafortTrial - Thread on Peggy Miceli, VP underwriting at Citizen's Bank, one of the banks prosecutors claim Manafort defrauded.
According to Miceli, Manafort wouldn't have been able to secure a loan for roughly $3.4 million against one of his New York city properties if ...
the bank would have been aware that the property was actually a rental instead of a second residence.
The loan surpassed the maximum limit of $1 million for an investment property and while some exceptions can be made, Miceli said, those exceptions didn't apply here
If the bank had known Manafort reported the property as available for rent all year, she said it would've been dubbed an investment property by law.
THREAD - #ManafortTrial
More from witness Melinda James -
James says Manafort lied about whether he had a mortgage on a property in Brooklyn. (Union Street)
Info she gets from Manafort and Gates - and what she digs up on insurance records - reveal there's a mortgage...
on the house. Gates tells her its not finalized and wouldn't be until March in an email. Manafort CC'd on the email.
During cross, def atty Jay Nanavati shifts blame back to Gates, noting a Feb 2016 email (a month earlier than the loan was allegedly finalized)
from Manafort to Melinda James. In it, Manafort says the mortgage had only been "approved" but the deal was still not closed.
Some confusion in ct around what James said and what FBI reported her saying about the Union St mortgage though.
THREAD: Some highlights from the first half of today's testimony @ the #ManafortTrial.
From Melinda James of Citizens Bank (witness for the prosecution);
Manafort wanted a cash refinance on his Howard St property in NYC to the tune of $3.4M (1/3)
Over a series of emails disp. in ct, again, it appears Manafort was the one leading coordination of the loan application process, saying if he wasn't around, Gates was the go-to.
Manafort told James the Howard St prop was not a rental but a second home; she did some research online and found it was listed for rent
Had Manafort told her the truth about the rental, she said, it could have changed his ability to get the loan from Citizens Bank at all
#ManafortTrial Thread - (1/3)
Today we expect to hear from witness Darin Evenson, director of customer experience at AirBnB.
Evenson will likely talk about the $2.8 million condo Manafort purchased in NYC.
Prosecutors allege the property was purchased with untaxed funds Manafort wired from Cyprus. They also claim he falsely misclassified the property as a second, owner-occupied home instead of a rental.
The scheme was undertaken, prosecutors allege, so he could obtain a more favorable loan when applying for a mortgage. According to the indictment, Manafort’s ploy worked – a bank gave him a loan of $3.1 million based on the representations he made about the property.
#ManafortTrial Thread -
Here's a peek behind some of the back-and-forth between prosecutor Greg Andres and Judge Ellis this afternoon. Prosecutors wanted to show jurors charts tracking the flow of money from Manafort's offshore accounts to various puchases made in the US.
Def. atty Richard Westling argued the charts were "cumulative" aka repetitive of evidence witnesses have testified to during an earlier point in trial.
Prosecutors disagreed, saying that the FBI accountant had put considerable effort into bringing all of the information together during the course of her investigation and that the charts - when combined with her testimony - would be relevant.
#ManafortTrial Thread - (1/3)
The latest: FBI forensic accountant Morgan Magionos began testifying ahead of lunch recess. She reviewed documents and various bank statements connected to Manafort's accounts in Cyprus, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the UK.
According to Magionos, she found 31 foreign bank accounts opened from 2010 to 2014.
All of the accounts listed Manafor, Gates or Konstantin Kilimnik as beneficial owners and/or authorized signatories.
Prosecutors asked her how she knew they were connected to Manafort?
Simply enough - when opening the accounts, Manafort attached a copy of his passport.
#ManafortTrial Thread -
On redirect, Gates told prosecutor Greg Andres that he was not under the impression he was under investigation during the FBI interview and that he was never asked to produce his tax returns.
After the FBI interview, he said, Manafort asked him to meet with their Ukrainian contacts so he could get more information about whether the entities were “clean” or in other words, untraceable.
Andres also spent more than 15 minutes asking Gates to clarify parts of his testimony from Tuesday regarding the guilty plea entered in a federal court in Washington, D.C. earlier this year.
#ManafortTrial Thread - Cross Examination of Gates lasts less than hour, info from @tjryan93: Downing primarily asked Gates about an interview he gave to the FBI in 2014 about work Davis Manafort Partners International performed for former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.
Gates said that during the interview he disclosed to the FBI the existence of offshore accounts Manafort controlled. Prosecutors have alleged these accounts were used to shield money from U.S. taxes.
Gates testified he disclosed the accounts at Manafort’s direction.
“He indicated that we should be open and provide the information about the questions that had been asked of us,” Gates said.