Rick Gates, a former Trump campaign deputy, is cleared to take his children to Boston next week for spring break, after Special Counsel Mueller dismissed criminal charges against Gates, including tax and bank fraud. He pleaded guilty to one count of “conspiracy against the United States” and one count of making a false statement to the FBI and Special Counsel just days ago on the 23rd and was facing up to six years in prison. The fact that charges have been dropped indicates that Gates cooperated with Mueller and has provided valuable information for the probe into the 2016 presidential election.
— POLITICO (@politico) February 27, 2018
As part of his plea deal, Gates agreed to cooperate “in any and all matters” that the special counsel’s office decides are “relevant.” Now it looks like he did, and quickly.
There are indications that Gates knows quite a lot about Paul Manafort and other insider information from the Trump campaign. Gates worked as deputy chairman under Manafort when Manafort was campaign manager. He and Manafort were accused of a money laundering scheme that continued until “at least 2016,” which indicates it could have been taking place during the Trump presidential campaign.
This is contrary to statements from White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who said the “issues that took place long before they were involved with the president.”
“He saw everything,” said a former Trump campaign consultant who worked with Gates and Manafort and called him one of the “top five” Trump insiders who Mueller could tap as cooperative government witnesses.
POLITICO reported that Gates has made repeated requests to leave his Richmond home to attend family holidays. The Boston trip, scheduled for March 2-8 was requested “to show his children around the Boston area to learn about American history in general, and the Revolutionary War in particular.”
According to a report from Axios, Gates still faces an advisory sentence of 57 to 71 months in prison under his guilty plea.
Scott Dworkin, Co-Founder of the Democratic Coalition, commented on what the dropped charges for Gates could mean: The information from Gates could pressure Manafort to flip on Trump as soon as next month.
Manafort has maintained his innocence in his own multiple charges. Gates maintained his innocence initially, but wound up pleading guilty. Now it looks like he has flipped and proved valuable to the Russia probe.
Robert Mueller just made a move to dismiss some of the charges against Rick Gates. It's a clear signal that whatever info Gates gave Mueller-it must have been good. Gates still faces 57-71 months in prison. Now it's VERY likely Manafort will flip on Trump in March. #TrumpColluded
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) February 27, 2018
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