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Rick Gates Pleads Guilty in Mueller Investigation
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Rick Gates. Photo courtesy of CNN.

Summary: Rick Gates has pled guilty in the special counsel’s investigation into Russia’s alleged role in the 2016 presidential election. 

On Friday, former Donald Trump campaign official Rick Gates pled guilty in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s alleged role in the 2016 presidential election.

  
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Mueller, so far, has indicted four former Trump associates, and Gates is the third to plead guilty. Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, is the only one who has declined that option.

According to CNN, Gates pled guilty to two criminal charges, and his plea deal “will put the spotlight on former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.”

Gates’ deal will dismiss allegations involving money laundering and other crimes, and he will have to cooperate with Mueller’s investigation by turning over documents and speaking with investigators. He may also testify in court cases and be asked to go undercover.

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Gates, 45, was the right-hand-man of Manafort, who allegedly took millions of dollars from a Ukranian official. His relationship to Ukraine has given him a link to Trump and Russia, and he has possibly played a key role in Russia’s meddling with the 2016 Presidential election.

In response to Gates’ plea, Manafort has vowed to fight the charges.



“I continue to maintain my innocence,” Manafort said. “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.”

Last week, the special counsel indicted 13 Russian nationals for allegedly spreading misinformation to hurt Trump’s 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton.

Before Gates’ deal, former national security advisor Michael Flynn and former Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos pled guilty to lying to the FBI during the Russia investigation.

In court filings, Gates admitted to helping Manafort launder tens of millions of dollars the two men made lobbying for Ukrainian politicians. The two men illegally moved $75 million through offshore accounts, and Gates trasferred $3 million between accounts in order to evade taxes. Manafort allegedly laundered $18 million to buy homes and luxury goods.

During Gates’ Friday plea, he said that he was Manafort’s assistant in the crimes.

“Acting on the authority of Mr. Manafort, [Gates] routinely dealt with Mr. Manafort’s tax accountants [and misled them],” prosecutor Greg Andres said.

What do you think of Rick Gates? Let us know in the comments below.



 

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