Monday, 18 June, 2018

Ex-Trump Campaign Aide Gates Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy, Lying

US President Donald Trump Former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates expected to plead guilty in Russia probe: reports
Sammy Stanley | 24 February, 2018, 06:19

A former senior adviser to President Donald Trump's election campaign pleaded guilty Friday to federal conspiracy and false-statements charges, switching from defendant to cooperating witness in the special counsel's probe of Trump's campaign and Russia's election interference.

Gates pleaded guilty to two additional charges, of conspiracy and lying to federal agents. "Mr. Manafort is confident that he will be acquitted and violations of his constitutional rights will be remedied". Once a campaign insider, Gates could have valuable information regarding Trump campaign ties to Russian Federation.

Grand juries led by Mueller had charged Gates with a combined 31 criminal charges in indictments handed down in October and this week.

"Despite my initial desire to vigorously defend myself, I have had a change of heart", Gates said in a letter to his family, according to ABC News. They were previously charged with 12 counts of fraud, conspiracy and money laundering on October 30, and they pleaded not guilty. Instead, the special counsel accused the men of lying on their income-tax returns and conspiring to commit bank fraud to get loans as part an elaborate scheme to use their income from the Ukrainian political party to buy properties, evade taxes and support a lavish lifestyle.

The White House said on Friday that the latest charges against Manafort and Gates were unrelated to Trump. Gates' lawyers had filed a motion this month indicating that they had reached "irreconcilable differences" with their client.

That work brought in $17m for Manafort's lobbying firm between 2012 and 2014, payments that were not disclosed until previous year after Mueller's probe into their business was well underway.

Gates' plea deal appeared to be partially motivated by his concern over legal costs and the strain on his family.

The DB reported Thursday that Gates fired attorney Tom Green, who was reportedly trying to get him a plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller, but Green told the website that he'll continue to represent Gates.

Antonio Conte names Chelsea defender as future captain
What followed not only vindicated his team selection but also produced a tactical masterclass on the biggest European stage. But Blues boss Conte revealed issues with the 29-year-old's defending were behind his failure to be a regular stater.

However, Manafort said in a statement issued after Gates' plea deal that he maintained his innocence.

"The outcome 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' letter said, according to ABC News.

Gates, along with Manafort, still faces a separate indictment filed Thursday by Mueller in a Virginia court, on charges of bank and tax fraud in relation to how they deployed their Ukraine earnings back into the United States.

Gates would become the fifth person to plead guilty to a crime in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

The group of politicians, known as the Hapsburg group, were paid roughly two million euros to do pose as independent analysts, the indictment says, when in reality they were compensated for the lobbying.

Gates has for weeks been vacillating between fighting the charges and pleading guilty, and remained undecided through much of this week, according to the sources.

A charging document filed in federal court in Washington on Tuesday accuses Alex van der Zwaan of one charge of making false statements.

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