After plea deal, Mueller moves to drop charges against Trump associate Rick Gates

A former member of the Trump campaign is cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

On Tuesday, Mueller moved to dismiss charges against Rick Gates, a long-time partner of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort who pleaded guilty last week to charges related to foreign political consulting work done prior to the 2016 election, the Washington Examiner reports.

Rick Gates (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana).

Gates’ guilty plea on Friday made him the fifth associate of President Trump to do so in the Mueller probe into Russian electoral interference.

Like former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn and former foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos, Gates was charged with lying to the FBI.

Gates and Manafort were also indicted with 32 counts of bank fraud and money laundering related to their work in Ukrainian politics.

Paul Manafort. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images).

Upon learning of Gates’ plea deal, Manafort released a statement:

“Notwithstanding that Rick Gates pled today, I continue to maintain my innocence.

“I had hoped and expected my business colleague would have had the strength to continue the battle to prove our innocence. For reasons yet to surface he chose to do otherwise. This does not alter my commitment to defend myself against the untrue piled up charges contained in the indictments against me.”

(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images).

The Mueller probe has thus far indicted 13 Russian persons and 3 Russian entities with interfering in the 2016 election, none of which were directly linked to President Trump.

According to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the foreign actors conducted “disinformation” campaigns that aided both left-wing and right-wing causes at various points in time–including the presidential candidacy of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

Russians organized a 2016 anti-Trump protest rally in New York that was notably attended by documentary filmmaker Michael Moore.

US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images).

“There is no allegation in the indictment that the charge conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election,” Rosenstein said.


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