Recall that Paul Manafort, briefly a campaign mucky-muck for then-Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump, is on trial for a number of tax and bank fraud charges.
One of those charges relates to a tax return filed by Manafort that supposedly
contained inaccurate information [that] falsely reduced his tax liability by classifying millions of dollars she believed was income as loans.
The accountant who filed the return, Cindy Laporta (“she” in the above cite) testified under oath last week at Manafort’s trial that [emphasis added]
manipulating tax returns in such a way was “inappropriate” and that she knew it was wrong, but did it because Mr Manafort was a longtime client of her firm. “I prepared the tax returns and communicated with banks based on information that [Richard] Gates and Mr Manafort provided to me that I didn’t believe[.]”
This included such incidents as
Ms Laporta said she agreed to help finesse [Manafort’s] company’s income, recasting $900,000 as a loan, based on a two-page loan agreement that appeared to be from one of Mr Manafort’s clients, Telmar, that she suspected was fake.
Messrs Manafort and Gates pressed her to send to the banks what she believed were false documents purportedly forgiving the previously booked loans, after the banks had asked to see more income to provide the mortgages.
She could have refused to do these things. She chose, instead, to be serially dishonest.
Laporta was granted immunity for this testimony.
Given her testimony that she contributed to falsifying tax documents—Federal felonies (and State felonies if these affected any State taxes)—why should any of her testimony be believed? She’s confessed to being dishonest; how can we take any of her testimony as other than dishonest?
On the other hand, Mueller’s Manafort prosecutors traded her immunity for her testimony. On what basis then, can we conclude she simply didn’t sell her testimony like a Thursday night hooker? Alternatively, on what basis can we conclude she wasn’t brow-beaten, with those felonies of hers as cudgel, into testifying the way she has? Either way, it seems clear to me that it was the Mueller prosecutors, not Laporta, who testified during Laporta’s time on the stand; they were just using her mouth to do so.