ALEXANDRIA, VA — Rick Gates testified on Tuesday afternoon that his former boss, Paul Manafort, doctored a profit-and-loss statement that went through July 21, 2016, in order to secure a loan.
While questioning Gates, lawyers for special counsel Robert Mueller admitted into evidence an email from Oct. 21st, 2016 — about two months after Paul Manafort left the Trump campaign — containing a profit-and-loss statement for 2016 that showed Manafort’s consulting firm made $3 million through July 21, 2016.
An earlier profit-and-loss statement for the same period showed that Manafort’s consulting firm had lost $638,000.
In a previous email from around the same time, Manafort asked Gates how to convert a PDF into a word document. A lawyer for the prosecution asked Gates what Gates thought Manafort meant when he asked for help converting the file.
Gates replied that he understood that Manafort was “going to make some sort of change to it.”
Gates also testified that, in the new profit-and-loss statement, some of the text alignment looked off. Gates testified that this sometimes happens when you convert a PDF into a word document to change it.
Manafort is on trial here facing bank and tax fraud charges. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Gates was Manafort’s right-hand man during the pair’s lobbying work in Ukraine. Special counsel Robert Mueller originally charged Gates alongside Manafort, but Gates reached a plea deal with Mueller in exchange for cooperating in the investigation.
Gates took the stand for the first time on Monday afternoon, and returned for three hours of questioning by the prosecution this morning. This afternoon, Paul Manafort’s legal team is expected to cross-examine Gates.
Just before that testimony, lawyers for the prosecution went through some emails from March 2016 in which Gates tried to work with Cindy LaPorta, an accountant for Manafort, to create a letter that would have inflated Manafort’s income. That was around March 22, 2016. Manafort joined the Trump campaign on March 29, 2016, and Gates served as his deputy.