Tierney Sneed wrote last week that Paul Manafort’s season tickets to see the Yankees play had made a few appearances during pretrial and trail. These tickets originally surfaced in a search warrant unsealed earlier this summer. It alleged that Manafort claimed, while applying for a loan, that a $300,000 delinquency on his credit card was actually a loan to a friend for Yankees tickets that the friend paid back. It’s unclear whether this is true. The Virgnia trial, after all, is partially focused on the fact that Manafort did not always tell the truth when applying for loans.
Last week, during the trial, the tickets came up in a different context: Prosecutor Uzo Asonye asked accountant Cindy LaPorta about an email from Rick Gates, in which Gates said the four seats at Yankees games should be partially considered a business expense of Davis Manafort International, Manafort’s consulting firm.
Today, in trial, the tickets came up one more time. Prosecutors asked Gates about a 2013 agenda for a Meeting he had with Manafort. The agenda, which was displayed on screens for the courtroom, had an item about Yankees season tickets. One line read “tickets going to Trump next week,” according to Buzzfeed’s Zoe Tillman.
What does it mean?
Gates reportedly was not asked directly about that line, and didn’t talk about it. The Washington Post points out that Manafort owned a Trump Tower apartment, and so the agenda item perhaps indicated that the tickets should be sent there.
Or perhaps it indicated they were going to the man himself. We don’t yet know. But a senior director of ticket operations for the New York Yankees is on the witness list. An answer may be forthcoming.