Chuck Ross on February 15, 2018
Former Trump campaign adviser Rick Gates is reportedly preparing to accept a plea deal with the special counsel’s office.
Gates has been in negotiations with Mueller’s prosecutors for roughly a month, according to CNN. He was indicted in October along with his business partner, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
Gates and Manafort were indicted for money laundering and other crimes related to political consulting work they did well before joining the Trump campaign for a Ukrainian political party.
Gates has already met with Mueller’s team in what’s known as a “queen for a day” session, according to CNN. In such meetings, defendants are generally allowed to speak freely about other crimes that they witnessed in exchange for assurances that their words will not be used against them.
It is unclear if Gates plans to share information strictly related to Manafort or if he has damning information about the Trump campaign.
A White House official told CNN that there is little concern in the administration that a Gates plea deal will harm Trump.
“There’d be no anxiety here,” the official said.
Gates, 45, joined the Trump campaign in April 2016, at the same time as Manafort, his mentor.
There have been signs for weeks that Gates was working on a plea deal with Mueller’s team. His legal team abruptly left the case last month. Tom Green, a criminal defense attorney who specializes in plea deals, was brought in as a replacement.
In addition to the Gates and Manafort plea deals, former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former campaign adviser George Papadopoulos have pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.
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