Prosecutor Greg Andres Nails it!
Sounds like Prosecutor Greg Andres has made a sharp and comprehensive closing argument to the jury in the Paul Manafort trial.
He hit all the points I hoped he would hit.
(Defense closing arguments should come later this afternoon.)
ALEXANDRIA, VA — Prosecutor Greg Andres completed his closing statement in Paul Manafort’s Virginia trial on Wednesday morning, emphasizing to the jury that special counsel Mueller’s team believes Manafort repeatedly mislead banks and the U.S. government about his financial situation.
- “Mr. Manafort lied to keep more money when he had it, and lied to get more money when he didn’t,” Andres told the jury.
- Andres charged that the evidence presented in the case, including witness testimony, emails, and financial documents, is “littered with lies.”
- Andres also addressed the defense’s tactic, employed during cross-examination of Gates last week, of painting Gates as untrustworthy. Andres said that the government’s evidence was “more than sufficient” without Gates’ testimony. He told the jury that he does not expect them to take Gates’ testimony “at face value” and instead asked them to “verify” Gates’ claims with testimony from other witnesses.
- He then asked if Gates’ affairs “make Mr. Manafort any less guilty,” and suggested that it would only make sense that Manafort would choose Gates to help him with his alleged schemes.
- “He didn’t choose a boy scout,” Andres said.
- Ellis interrupted Andres only once, to remind him that he may want to save time out of the allotted two hours for a rebuttal following the defense team’s closing argument.
- Andres spent the bulk of his time walking the jury through the counts, and repeatedly argued that the evidence against Manafort is “overwhelming” as he discussed certain charges.
- He reminded the jury of previous testimony from Manafort’s bookkeeper and tax accountants, who were unaware of his foreign business accounts.
- He reminded them of numbers that prosecutors previously raised in evidence — that Manafort failed to report more than $15 million in income on his tax returns between 2010 and 2014, and that Manafort had 31 foreign bank accounts that he never reported.
- He showed documents that suggested Manafort took these steps intentionally and emphasized that he is “capable and bright,” and trained as a lawyer. “Mr. Manafort knew the law but he violated it anyway,” Andres said.
- “He wanted to hide that money and evade taxes,” Andres said.
- “The star witness in this case is the documents,” Andres said.
- He reminded the jury that prosecutors admitted evidence suggesting that Manafort submitted false documents inflating his income, backdated documents claiming a loan was forgiven, and lied to banks about where he lived and which properties had mortgages.
If you’re new to the trial (welcome to 2018!!), here is a great rundown of the specific charges against Donald Trump’s former Campaign Manager.
Also of interest is the possibility of legal exposure for one Steve Calk; He is the CEO of The Federal Savings Bank in Chicago. Steve was in on a bit of a conspiracy to defraud his own bank. And I learned just now that during a side-bench with Judge Ellis days ago, he was named by Andres as a co-conspirator.
He wasn’t indicted by Mueller, but could face further legal difficulties for his actions with Manafort.
By Lynn Sweet
WASHINGTON — As the criminal trial of former Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort heads into its 10th day, the prosecution is now saying a Chicago banker who’s been a figure in the case is a “co-conspirator” with Manafort.
Outside the earshot of the Manafort jury and the rest of those attending the trial, a federal prosecutor on Friday also told the judge hearing the case the banker, Stephen Calk, could face unspecified “criminal liability.”
It’s unclear whether that statement has anything to do with Calk’s efforts to get a job in Trump’s administration and the $16 million in loans Manafort got from Calk’s bank, or is completely unrelated to that.
Though jurors and the public didn’t hear the conversation, a court reporter was there and it is part of the record of the Manafort trial, unfolding in the Alexandria, Va., federal courthouse.