Rick Gates testimony may not be enough to convict Manafort It may all come down to what empirical evidence Mueller’s team has.

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Aug 8, 2018 No Comments ›› admin

By Lynn Woolley

The Special Counsel, Robert Mueller, is having a bit tougher time that most people thought he would.

He got an indictment for 18 counts against Paul Manafort, who, for a short time, was Donald Trump’s campaign manager. When this trial started, I was led to believe by CNN that Manafort was a goner – on all counts. As the trial progressed, I began to think Manafort might get off on some of the counts. Lately, I wonder if Mueller’s team can get a conviction at all.

Manafort & Gates (CBS News)

We’ve now learned that the key witness, former Manafort pal Rick Gates, is a major liar.

Gates has admitted that, and that he embezzled up to $3 million from Manafort.

Not only that, Gates had an extra-marital affair in London complete with a separate apartment, as he lived an opulent life, partly on the stolen money. If this is the witness that Mueller is counting on – he may be disappointed.

Mueller badly needs this conviction.

The Manafort trial is considered Mueller’s first big test. If he can’t convict a non-sympathetic low-life like Manafort, how can he succeed in having Trump removed from office?

Right now, it looks iffy – at best. Two things to remember in addition to the fact that Rick Gates may be the worst prosecution witness ever:

Judge T.S. Ellis III seems to be leery of everything the prosecution is doing. He seems to believe that Mueller is using Manafort to get to Trump. He has chided the prosecution for dwelling too much on Manafort’s lifestyle. He has even scolded them over eye contact.
• The prosecution has fixated on Manafort’s opulent lifestyle to drive up his negatives with jury, so how will they explain Gates’ opulent lifestyle?

It may all come down to what empirical evidence Mueller’s team has. 

Paul Manafort, then-Trump campaign chairman, is surrounded by reporters on the floor of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on July 17, 2016. Rick Gates stands nearby | J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo

News stories have focused on Gates as the key to a conviction. But Gates is every bit as sleazy as Manafort – and Gates has the added problem of having ratted on Manafort to save his own skin.

The jury may not believe a word Gates says. If they don’t, and Manafort walks, Mueller looks like a fool and Trump will start tweeting. Remember, Manafort isn’t likely to to get any of the Russians that he’s indicted in a courtroom. He needs this Manafort conviction.

The odds are still with him to get it. But it’s far from certain.


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