Manafort aide pleads guilty, turns state's evidence

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Manafort aide pleads guilty, turns state's evidence

Post by Original Quill on Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:53 pm

Report: Rick Gates Tells Friends and Family He Will Plead Guilty in Mueller Probe
By JEREMY STAHL

FEB 23, 201811:50 AM

Rick Gates wrote a letter to friends and family telling them that he would plead guilty on Friday in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, ABC News is reporting.

More from ABC News:

ABC News wrote:In the letter obtained by ABC News, Gates writes to family and friends “despite my initial desire to vigorously defend myself, I have had a change of heart,” Gates explained. “The reality of how long this legal process will likely take, the cost, and the circus-like atmosphere of an anticipated trial are too much. I will better serve my family moving forward by exiting this process.” …

“The consequence is the public humiliation, which at this moment seems like a small price to pay for what our children would have to endure otherwise,” Gates said in his letter.

It was unclear to which crimes Gates would be admitting, but the recently anticipated move to apparently cooperate would be a coup for Mueller. Gates is charged with a series of financial fraud and lobbying misreporting crimes related to work he allegedly did on behalf of the former pro-Russian government of Ukraine while working for former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

Manafort and Gates were each hit with a new 32-count indictment on Thursday, explicitly laying out charges of tax evasion, bank fraud, and failure to report foreign bank accounts that had been previously detailed in an October indictment but never charged.

In a court document released on Thursday, the special counsel’s office reported that one defendant in the case had waived a venue move for the new list of charges while another would insist that the new charges be heard in the Eastern District of Virginia rather than the District of Columbia, which might have indicated a split in the legal strategies of the two defendants.

The New York Times also reported earlier on Friday that Gates was preparing to cooperate with Mueller’s investigation.

The Times reported:

NY Times wrote:Mr. Gates’s primary concern has been protecting his family, both emotionally and financially, from the prospect of a drawn-out trial, according to a person familiar with his defense strategy who was not authorized to publicly discuss the case and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The move would come after a whiplash report from the Daily Beast on Thursday that Gates had fired a defense counsel known for securing cooperation deals with federal investigators and was moving toward a legal team with connections to Manafort’s own.

“Gates has for weeks been vacillating between fighting the charges and pleading guilty, and remained undecided through much of this week, according to [sources close to the matter],” ABC News further reported.

Gates’ deal would almost certainly include testimony against his former colleague, which might in turn put pressure on the former chairman of the Trump campaign to agree to some plea bargain of his own.

It’s unclear whether either man has information that would serve the primary purpose of Mueller’s probe, which has been to investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and any possible support it may have received from the Trump campaign.

As the Times noted, though, Gates remained part of the Trump campaign as a liaison between the campaign and the Republican National Committee even after Manafort left the campaign in August, 2016 following scrutiny of his foreign ties.

“Mr. Gates was present for the most significant periods of activity of the campaign, as Mr. Trump began developing policy positions and his digital operation engaged with millions of voters on platforms such as Facebook,” the Times noted.

Last week, Mueller charged 13 Russians and three Russian companies with a conspiracy to defraud multiple agencies of the U.S. government by interfering in the 2016 election through an orchestrated social media trolling campaign.

It’s also unclear how a leak of a letter describing Gates’ desire to avoid a “circus-like atmosphere” as being his chief motivation to plead guilty will affect an apparent agreement to accept responsibility for specific crimes and to theoretically testify against his old partner. This does not seem likely to be how Mueller would have wanted the news to break, however.

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Re: Manafort aide pleads guilty, turns state's evidence

Post by Andy on Fri Feb 23, 2018 10:04 pm

This is the start of the end for Trump. I think Gates will be wheeling a deal to protect himself and his family. It seems he is very prepared to shaft his former colleagues.
Oh dear..

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