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The Latest: Banker says he was pressed to lend Manafort $16M

August 10, 2018
Associated Press

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — The Latest on the bank fraud and tax evasion trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort (all times local):

3:10 p.m.

Paul Manafort's financial fraud trial has resumed with the testimony of a bank executive who says he was pressured for political reasons to give the former Trump campaign chairman more than $16 million in loans.

The trial of the former Trump campaign chairman had been delayed for several hours Friday, and the judge offered no explanation for the recess ahead of banker Dennis Raico's testimony.

Raico, who testified under an immunity agreement, is detailing for jurors how he grew uncomfortable by pressure from Federal Savings Bank chairman Stephen Calk to approve the loans. Prosecutors have said that Calk pushed through the loans for Manafort because he wanted a job in the Trump administration.

Raico told jurors that Calk specifically referenced being a candidate for secretary of the Treasury or Housing and Urban Development.

Manafort is being tried on charges of tax evasion and bank fraud.

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10:50 a.m.

The judge in Paul Manafort's trial has called a recess without explanation.

U.S. District Judge T. S. Ellis lll huddled with attorneys from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office and Manafort's defense lawyers, as well as court security officers, for more than 20 minutes before calling the recess. The judge then exited the courtroom toward the jury room.

The recess comes as prosecutors are preparing to finish their case Friday. Manafort faces charges of bank fraud and tax evasion.

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10:45 a.m.

Prosecutors for Special Counsel Robert Mueller are asking the judge overseeing the fraud trial of Paul Manafort to correct an earlier statement.

On Thursday, prosecutors questioned a loan officer for Citizen's Bank of New York, asking about Manafort's 2016 loan application that the bank rejected. U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III interjected: "You might want to spend time on a loan that was granted."

Early Friday, prosecutors said Ellis' crack "misrepresents the law" regarding bank conspiracy and "is likely to confuse the jury."

Ellis has yet to comment on the motion.

A day earlier, the judge acknowledged that he likely erred when he angrily confronted them a day earlier.

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12:01 a.m.

Prosecutors in Paul Manafort's financial fraud trial say they expect to rest their case on Friday.

On Thursday, prosecutors returned to the nuts and bolts of their case against the former Trump campaign chairman as they sought to show he obtained millions of dollars in bank loans under false pretenses.

Attorneys for special counsel Robert Mueller also got a rare, and narrow, acknowledgment from U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III in Alexandria, Virginia, that he likely erred when he angrily confronted them over whether he had allowed a witness to watch the trial.

Thursday's testimony was devoid of some of the drama of recent days, when star witness Rick Gates was confronted about embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from Manafort and was forced to admit to an extramarital affair.

 
 

 

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