Manafort prosecutors say they have ‘every intention’ of calling Rick Gates
Prosecutors from special counsel Robert Mueller’s office on Thursday walked back their earlier claim that Rick Gates may not testify in the trial of his former business associate Paul Manafort.
“We have absolutely put him on the witness list,” prosecutor Greg Andres told Judge T.S. Ellis III. “We have every intention of calling him.”
Judge Ellis responded that “of course” the government was going to put Mr. Gates on the stand.
“You can’t prove conspiracy without that,” he said of Mr. Gates’ testimony.
Mr. Gates is expected to take the stand Friday or Monday.
On Wednesday, prosecutor Uzo Asonye said Mr. Gates may or may not testify, surprising some in the court room. Mr. Gates is the government’s star witness against Mr. Manafort.
The conversation Thursday occurred before the jury was brought into the courtroom. Mr. Andres complained the jury heard Wednesday’s admonishment from Judge Ellis that Mr. Gates may not testify.
“I’m not the one who said it,” Judge Ellis said of the disclosure that Mr. Gates may not be called to the stand.