Bookkeeper: Ex-Trump campaign chairman 'approved every penny' of bills

Bookkeeper: Ex-Trump campaign chairman 'approved every penny' of bills

Rosenstein is now the one who oversees the Mueller investigation, and if fired, a replacement would have the opportunity to scale down the probe, or even end it altogether.

An accountant for US President Donald Trump's one-time campaign chairman Paul Manafort admitted in trial testimony on Friday that she helped backdate documents and falsify financial records at Manafort and his business partner's request to reduce his tax burden and help him qualify for loans.

Cindy Laporta, an accountant with Kositzka Wicks & Co. testified that she classified income from foreign companies allegedly controlled by Mr. Manafort as "loans" so he could avoid paying taxes on it.

Laporta, however, is perhaps the most significant witness for the prosecution up to this point.

Lobbyist Manafort is defending himself from charges of tax illegalities brought by special counsel Robert Mueller. Though this case is not about Russian Federation or possible election conspiracy, it has captured Trump's attention.

If the trial continues quickly, it could wrap up before a second, more consequential, trial against Manafort begins.

On Tuesday, Ellis interrupted Assistant U.S. Attorney Uzo Asonye when the prosecutors emphasized Manafort's purchases.

Prosecutor Greg Andres argued that documenting Manafort's spending for the jury was important to the case. She'll be questioned by the defense team on Monday, and they've indicated to the court they'd like to raise the immunity deal she cut with prosecutors. But a judge could give him less time if prosecutors decide he provided "substantial assistance" to the special counsel's office.

Washkuhn said her company had calculated net income of about $400,000 for Manafort's consulting company for that year.

"Rick Gates is a double-edged sword", said Mintz.

Gates was initially a codefendant until he pleaded guilty to two counts related to conspiracy and lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in February. That's why the accounts weren't reported on years' worth of Manafort's tax returns as required by federal law, Ayliff said.

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Trump was closely monitoring news coverage of the Manafort proceedings, which provoked the spate of incendiary tweets, according to the two Republicans and two White House officials.

Other witnesses testifying this week said Manafort paid them millions from the offshore accounts tied to foreign shell companies for landscaping, expensive clothing and even a karaoke machine. The bank said it wanted to see more money in Manafort's account to repay the loan.

He also chastised defense lawyer Thomas Zehnle as he described Manafort's contributions to politics.

Manafort is now fighting in court charges of 18 financial crimes, including submitting false income tax returns to the IRS. They're just trying to pin it on Gates.

She said she never sent a profit and loss statement because she never received documentation from Mr. Manafort. They allege Manafort is a victim of Gates' illegal activity.

Prosecutors in the trial of President Donald Trump's former aide Paul Manafort continued to focus on Manafort's finances Friday during the fourth day of his trial, as his former accountant testified.

Four days into the trial, the prosecution has already called a number of witnesses who have steadily chipped away at Manafort's attempt at pinning the crimes on Gates. And they are expected to hear later from Manafort's bookkeeper.

During the conference call, Laporta said Gates asked Manafort's tax preparers to alter the amount of a loan so that Manafort would owe less in income taxes.

Manafort's defense lawyer Thomas Zehnle told the jury that his client "placed his trust in the wrong person", and while Manafort may have made mistakes on his tax forms, he never meant to deceive anyone.

"Only a fool would give that information to his accountant if he was trying to hide it" from the Internal Revenue Service, Downing said, referring to whether the accountant had names of the Cyprus-based entities in his files and had retained them for his records.