Rick Gates, on the witness stand today in the trial of Paul Manafort, says he committed crimes with Manafort, and embezzled "hundreds of thousands" of dollars from Manafort.
"Did you commit crimes with Mr. Manafort?" the prosecutor asked.
"Yes," Gates responded.
Prosecution witness Gates, who is a former business partner of Manafort, testified that he joined Donald Trump's former campaign manager in committing bank fraud and tax crimes.
"Gates is admitting to everything," says NBC News' Ken Dilanian later, outside the courthouse.
Why would the prosecution begin by inviting Gates to confess to the crimes he's been charged with (and others)? They're establishing his credibility, and explaining the deal he's made–so the defense can't use any 'secrets' to impugn Gates' credibility as a witness.
He's expected to detail the crimes he committed with Manafort as the trial resumes tomorrow.
BREAKING: Rick Gates in trial:
Prosecutor: "Were you involved in any criminal activity with Mr. Manafort?"
Prosecutor: "Did you commit any crimes with Mr. Manafort?"
— Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) August 6, 2018
What do you want to bet that Paulie knew Gates was fluffing his expense reports, but considered a few hundred thousand here and there tip money for his chief co-conspirator?
— emptywheel (@emptywheel) August 6, 2018
— Arthur Lien (@Courtartist) August 4, 2018
Watching Gates, perhaps Manafort now realizes the legal benefit of agreeing to testify against your boss. https://t.co/bVtFQd0S3j
— David Jolly (@DavidJollyFL) August 6, 2018
I have seen some cold stares in my life but watching Paul Manafort stare down his former deputy, arms crossed, as Rick Gates recounted the long list of his alleged crimes was remarkable. #ManafortTrial
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) August 6, 2018
Per @KenDilanianNBC: Prosecutors say the $10M Manafort received from Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska was a PAYMENT not a LOAN.
— Polly Sigh (@dcpoll) August 6, 2018
lawyer: so what would you say was your main activity with mr. manafort?
rick gates: pic.twitter.com/GJkMVYXsWY
— Hayes Brown (@HayesBrown) August 6, 2018
Gates says he committed bank and tax fraud at Paul Manafort's direction, also embezzled "several hundred thousand" dollars https://t.co/KcuWmUOqiy
— Rachel Weiner (@rachelweinerwp) August 6, 2018
In court now:
Prosecutor on Mueller's team asks Rick Gates if he committed crimes with Paul Manafort.
"Yes," Gates says.
First time a senior Trump campaign official has confessed to a crime on the stand.
— Ari Melber (@AriMelber) August 6, 2018
Rick Gates testimony cliffnotes pic.twitter.com/b2OotiHd8S
— Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) August 6, 2018
NEW: Rick Gates flips on Paul Manafort, says they committed crimes together https://t.co/RkqX1y5dbJ
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) August 6, 2018