The ninth day of Paul Manafort's criminal trial wrapped up Friday, with testimony from a bank executive who reviewed loan application documents for Manafort.
Here's everything you need to know from day nine of his trial:
- The witnesses: The jury heard from Dennis Raico, a loan officer at Federal Savings Bank; Irfan Kirimca, a ticket operations manager at New York Yankees; and Andrew Chojnowski, the chief operating officer for home lending at Federal Savings Bank.
- The secretive talks: The trial began Friday with a mysterious conference between the lawyers and Judge T.S. Ellis, and the trial itself is not scheduled to resume until the afternoon.
- Another correction request: Prosecutors for the second time want Ellis to correct a statement he made to the jury. In a filing Friday morning, they asked Ellis to tell the jury to disregard a comment Thursday during a witness' testimony about alleged bank fraud conspiracy that the attorneys "might want to spend time on a loan that was granted."
- A reminder for the jury: Ellis repeatedly reminded jurors about their obligation not to discuss or research the trial outside of the courtroom. He also told them to "keep an open mind."
- What to expect Monday: Court resumes at 1 p.m. ET. Prosecutor Greg Andres said they plan on calling an additional witness to the stand.
Judge T.S. Ellis repeatedly reminded jurors Friday about their obligation not to discuss or research the Paul Manafort trial outside of the courtroom.
The judge started and ended the day by imploring that the jury follow his instructions.
"Don't discuss the matter at all," Ellis sternly told the jurors at the end of the day.
The Manafort trial just ended for the day. Court resumes at 1 p.m. ET Monday.
Prosecutors plans to call James Brennan, another bank employee who has been granted immunity for his testimony. Paula Liss, an analyst at Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, may also return to the stand.
Prosecutors could rest their case Monday.
It remains unclear what the defense plans to present. Both sides have requested two hours each for closing arguments.
Irfan Kirimca, a ticket operations manager at New York Yankees, testified against Paul Manafort for a total of only 10 minutes.
But in that time, prosecutors provided the jury with what may be home run evidence — Manafort alone controlled his secret foreign bank accounts and used them for personal pleasures.
Manafort emailed an employee of the Yankees in 2011 to tell them to expect payment of $226,800 for his tickets "sent from Global Highway LLC." That's one of dozens of Cypriot accounts Manafort allegedly hid from the government to collect his Ukrainian lobbying income and for which he never paid taxes.
Two days later, Kirimca confirmed an email that said the Yankees got a wire payment from Global Highway's account for $226,800 for Manafort's tickets.
His longtime deputy, Rick Gates, was not involved in the payment.
In another email, prosecutor Brandon Van Grack showed to Kirimca and the jury, a Yankees employee asked Manafort if he and his wife would attend opening day 2016. They would, Manafort replied, "Perfect."
Manafort had a multi-year agreement with the Yankees. The agreement included:
- Manafort had buy four seats for 81 games in a season.
- His seats were in the Legends Suite, somewhere between rows 14A and 27A at Yankee stadium, Kirimca testified.
- The seats cost more than $200,0000 a year.
Every year Manafort bought seats, he had them sent to his Trump Tower condo, Kirimca said.
Gates never told the Yankees he'd pay for Manafort's season tickets, Kirimca said. And Manafort's deputy, whom the defense team hopes to pin much of the alleged financial crimes, was never a season ticket holder.
The role of the Yankees tickets' in Manafort's case still isn't entirely apparent.
Why this matters: Prosecutors have highlighted several times throughout previous witness' testimony, including bankers testifying about alleged bank fraud and Manafort's debts, that Manafort attempted to pass off the Yankees expense onto Gates at the same time he told banks he was worth millions and sought millions more from them.
The next witness, Irfan Kirimca, works in ticketing for the New York Yankees.
Kirimca took the stand around 4:55 p.m. ET.
Prosecutor Greg Andres said questioning of Kirimca would take about 15 minutes. He added that the prosecution intends to call one more witness before the day's end.
Paul Manafort's attorney Richard Westling attempted to sow doubt into what a Federal Savings Bank loan officer told the jury about his boss' pressure to approve $16 million in loans for Paul Manafort while seeking a position in the Trump operation.
Manafort allegedly lied to the bank about his personal and business assets when he sought the loans.
Westling walked Dennis Raico, the loan officer, through the fact that the loans the bank offered to Manafort were fully secured by other assets of Manafort, including a mansion in the Hamptons owned by his wife.
He also pointed out how the bank considered changing the terms of a loan for Manafort before one loan closed. Manafort had originally sought one loan for $18 million, which the bank never granted, and just before closing on another loan worried about his mortgage tax burden, Raico said.
Westling also prompted Raico to admit that three members of the bank's credit approval committee voted on Manafort's loan approvals — not just Stephen Calk, the Federal Savings Bank founder who wanted an in with Trump.
How prosecutors responded
Prosecutors countered for the jury that Raico would never have known the power dynamics among Calk and the two other loan approval deciders. And he had no idea if one of the other bank loan deciders disagreed with Calk, Raico said.
"Mr. Calk's involvement was more than any of the loans" that Raico worked on lending at the bank, he said.
"He took a personal interest. He met the borrower on his own accord," Raico said about the two times Federal Savings Bank lent to Manafort.
Prosecutors on Friday again dug into the mysterious Yankees tickets purchase made on Paul Manafort's American Express card.
They have previously made reference to the Yankees tickets, which appear to factor into Manafort's alleged bank fraud, specifically his representation of his personal debts to the banks in 2016, two years after Manafort's Ukrainian politics funding dropped.
Manafort's deputy Rick Gates also testified that Manafort made him sign a letter saying that Gates bought the tickets, costing more than $200,000, when he had not.
On Friday, Dennis Raico, a loan officer at Federal Savings Bank, testified that the tickets were purchased using Manafort's card. Raico was told that Manafort lent his card "to a friend," so that he could purchase season tickets and then pay him back.
Raico testified that he received a copy of a memo from Gates to Manafort, thanking Manafort for letting him use the card to purchase the Yankees tickets.
In the memo, Gates added that he would pay Manafort back by May 30, 2016.
Raico said the "large" outstanding balance on the card — $300,000 — was concerning to the bank because it negatively affected Manafort's credit.
The jury saw one credit card statement from February 2016 that showed three separate charges for Yankees tickets on the same day. The payments were for tens of thousands of dollars each.
Dennis Raico, a loan officer at Federal Savings Bank, provided details about Paul Manafort's loan application process for his Bridgehampton property in New York.
The jury saw several emails about the back-and-forth negotiations between Manafort and bank employees over the loan.
In one email Manafort wrote to Stephen Calk, the CEO of the bank, he explained an error he had made in describing the potential payout and requesting that they increase the amount.
Raico also testified about how Manafort submitted his own terms for how the loan would be structured. When asked by the prosecution whether a client submitting his own terms is consistent with the bank's policies, Raico said no.
When the president of the bank decided not to move forward with the loan requested by Manafort, Calk intervened to help Manafort secure it.
"This should be a short conversation. Let's all stay friends, move on and go our own way," president Javier Ubarri wrote in an email to Raico and other bank employees.
Raico said that Calk disagreed with Ubarri's decision and ultimately overruled him by granting the loan to Manafort.
The relationship between Manafort and the Federal Savings Bank bankers began in spring of 2016, a loan officer testified.
That's when Federal Savings Bank founder and chairman Stephen Calk and Paul Manafort sat next to each other at a dinner with loan officer Dennis Raico, Calk's then-son-in-law Jeff Yohai, and several other bankers and a mortgage broker at Capital Grille in New York City's Financial District.
At the dinner they discussed "politics, loans" and other matters, Raico said.
Manafort, Yohai and Raico met again on July 27, 2016, at the same New York building, several floors above in the bank's offices. Calk conferenced into the meeting. At that time, Calk said he was "interested in helping the Trump organization," Raico said, meaning Donald Trump's business entities. Later, however, Raico testified Calk was interested in serving the Trump administration.
One of Manafort's loan applications was approved the very next day — an unusually quick turnaround, Raico testified.
Around early August 2016, Calk had asked Manafort if he could "help serve the Trump administration," Raico said, and Manafort asked Raico to send him Calk's resume. The jury saw that email Friday displayed in the courtroom.
Three days after the presidential election, Calk called Raico because he hadn't spoken with Manafort for a few days and he wanted to know if he was being considered for Secretary of the Treasury of Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The call and Calk's wish for him to pass on messages to Manafort "made me very uncomfortable," Raico testified Friday.
A previous witness testified that Manafort pinged Gates about Trump considering Calk for Secretary of the Army.