Judge in Manafort case seals discussion of Rick Gates and Trump probe

11 August, 2018, 01:37 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • Rick Gates is seen on the witness stand as a message between he and his former boss Paul Manafort appears before the court during Manafort's trial in Virginia. Courtroom illustration courtesy of Bill Hennessy

"The Court's statement that the government "might want to spend time on a loan that was granted" misrepresents the law regarding bank fraud conspiracy, improperly conveys the Court's opinion of the facts, and is likely to confuse and mislead the jury", prosecutors wrote.

Calk called Raico on November 11, 2016, Raico testified, and told Raico that he hadn't heard from Manafort in a couple of days and that he thought that he would "possibly be up for some role" in the Trump administration.

But the postponement is significant, as prosecutors had been hoping to finish calling witnesses Friday - and Ellis has a reputation as a strickler for keeping trials moving. Bloomberg News reported that Raico testified that the bank's chief executive officer Stephen Calk expedited approval of a loan to Manafort and wanted his assistance in getting a job in the Trump administration.

According to Talking Points Memo, Judge Ellis specifically acquiesced to the request on July 31, specifically asking who the witness was and his field of expertise before granting the motion.

Raico testified under a grant of immunity about President Trump's former campaign manager.

On Aug. 3, 2016, Manafort emailed Raico seeking Calk's resume. During the meeting, Raico said, Calk expressed interest in working for the Trump Organization. Manafort left the Trump campaign on August 19.


Welch told jurors Wednesday that Manafort didn't report at least $16 million on his tax returns between 2010 and 2014.

When asked by prosecutor Greg Andres whether he had ever seen a loan approved in that short amount of time, Raico replied, "No". The defense, for its part, attempted to undermine the character of the prosecution's star witness, former Trump campaign official and Manafort business associate Rick Gates, who claimed he committed crimes with Manafort. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges. In a filing on Friday, Mueller said Gates is continuing to co-operate with the investigation following his testimony this week.

Dennis Raico, a former employee at Federal Savings Bank in Chicago, took the stand on Friday afternoon.

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis corrected himself Thursday, apologizing for an outburst the previous day. He gave them explicit instructions to not talk to one another or others about the case.

Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign manager, faces charges for various financial crimes that are apparently unrelated to the election - though they do involve associates with ties to Russian Federation.

In addition, prosecutors are expected to call Irfan Kirimca, senior director of ticket operations at the Yankees, to testify about payments for Manafort's season tickets for the baseball team. The box seats cost between $210,000 to $225,000 a year, Gates said. Witnesses have testified that he tried to represent lower debt and higher income in order to get loans.

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