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Laporta joined Manafort's bookkeeper, Heather Washkuhn, and CPA, Philip Ayliff, in saying that she was unaware Manafort controlled over a dozen foreign bank accounts that loaned money to his political consulting firm while she managed his finances.

But Washkuhn said that while Gates dealt with some business matters for Manafort's consulting firm, "mainly Mr. Manafort was the approval source".

On Friday, one of Manafort's tax preparers admitted that she helped disguise $900,000 in foreign income as a loan in order to reduce his tax burden.

The first week of Paul Manafort's trial for bank and tax fraud charges is complete.

Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort arrives for arraignment on a third superseding indictment against him by Special Counsel Robert Mueller on charges of witness tampering, at US District Court in Washington, US June 15, 2018. Jurors are expected to hear testimony Friday that Manafort never told his tax accountants about offshore bank accounts containing millions of dollars.

Given the impact of Laporta's testimony, it is now unlikely the prosecution will call O'Brien to the stand, according to a person close to the case.

"I very much regret it", Laporta responded.

One side-by-side of documents showed Washkuhn's company telling Federal Savings Bank that Manafort's company DMP International had lost $1.11 million in the first 11 months of 2016. And if Manafort was actively trying to circumvent lending laws, he wouldn't send emails to his accountant and bookkeeper about it.

"You can't pick and choose what's a loan and what's income", she said.

Federal Savings Bank ultimately loaned to DMP when its executive Stephen Calk sought a Trump campaign position. Mr. Gates responded by sending a forged forgiveness letter, Ms. Laporta testified.

When Asonye asked Laporta whether she believed Manafort was getting the $2.4 million in additional income, which he said would be deposited in November of that year, Laporta said she "had no idea".

He also said Gates never asked him to hide information from Manafort and that the two men were often on calls together to discuss taxes. The testimony suggested that Gates wanted a document he could alter. Ayliff said that such declarations are the client's responsibility and that the firm isn't responsible to check the accuracy of information provided by a client. Ellis said. She said she knew it was false "because of the date".

His plea documents count at least five specific falsehoods he told authorities: that he was told by Manafort that a meeting about Ukraine was not about Ukraine; that he did not lobby US officials about Ukraine; that he did not recall lobbying meetings about Ukraine; that he had served merely as "a means of introduction" for others to talk to USA officials about Ukraine; that their firm did not retain emails longer than 30 days.

In any case, Mr Sessions recused himself from the investigation in March a year ago and does not have the power to stop it.

Kevin Downing, a defense attorney for Mr. Manafort, said he would need about an hour to cross-examen Ms. Laporta.

On the prosecution's projected evidence list are 23 email exchanges between just Manafort and Gates.

On August 19, after another 92 days of running the Trump campaign through its most critical phases, including the convention, Manafort was forced to resign over questions about his financial links to deposed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich, as well as Manafort's failure to register as a foreign agent even though he had lobbied the United States government on behalf of the Yanukovich regime. It was KWC's express policy to ask such questions via engagement letters. But attempts to verify the loan's terms were futile. This case has had hours of tax code explanation and tax returns, corporate financial accounting and the intricacies of loan, income and mortgage tax deductions.

"Money's coming in fast", Manafort's lawyer, Thomas Zehnle, told jurors at the trial's beginning.

Some US lawmakers said shutting down the investigation early would be a mistake.


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