Prosecutors in Manafort trial say Gates might not testify

Prosecutors in Manafort trial say Gates might not testify
© Getty

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Government prosecutors in the criminal trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortProsecutors drop effort to seize three Manafort properties after Trump pardon FBI offers 0K reward for Russian figure Kilimnik New York court rules Manafort can't be prosecuted by Manhattan DA MORE said Wednesday that they might not call Manafort's former business associate Richard Gates to testify.

“He may testify in this case, he may not," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Uzo Asonye.

Judge T.S. Ellis said that was news to him.


Gates, a former Trump campaign adviser who pleaded guilty in February as part of a deal with special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump MORE, is considered the star witness for the prosecution because of his close business ties to Manafort. He was on a list of 35 potential witnesses who could be called to testify.

During opening statements on Tuesday, defense attorneys revealed their legal strategy by saying  Manafort put Gates in charge of his business and personal finances while he was working abroad, and that Gates took advantage by “lining his own pockets.”

Manafort is facing 18 counts of bank and tax fraud, including allegations that he laundered $30 million from work on behalf of pro-Russian Ukrainian politicians and that he hid money overseas in unreported foreign accounts to avoid paying U.S. taxes.