Rick Gates, a top level adviser to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, is expected to plead guilty to charges related to participating in financial conspiracy along with former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.
Gates is also expected to admit to lying to investigators regarding a 2013 Washington meeting Manafort took part in with a member of Congress and a lobbyist.
The adviser, Rick Gates, is a longtime political consultant who once served as Mr. Trump’s deputy campaign chairman. The plea deal could be a significant development in the investigation — a sign that Mr. Gates plans to offer incriminating information against his longtime associate and the former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, or other members of the Trump campaign in exchange for a lighter punishment.
The deal comes as the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, has been raising pressure on Mr. Gates and Mr. Manafort with dozens of new charges of money laundering and bank fraud that were unsealed on Thursday in Alexandria, Va. Mr. Mueller first indicted both men in October, and both pleaded not guilty.
Gates was Donald Trump’s Deputy Campaign Chair, and stayed with the campaign and transition team even after Manafort was booted from the campaign.
Gates becomes the 5th person who has plead guilty in the Mueller probe:
• Rick Gates
• Michael Flynn
• George Papadopoulos
• Richard Pinedo
• Alex Van Der Zwann
Gates is now the 3rd member of the Trump campaign who has plead guilty.
Additionally, there have been 14 indictments to come out of the investigation looking into Russian disruption of the 2016 presidential election.
For a “witch hunt” or “hoax,” that’s a LOT of guilty pleas and indictments, don’t you think?
Watch NBC News‘ Pete Williams explain today’s developments below.
BREAKING: Rick Gates will plead guilty to “lying to federal agents” and a “general conspiracy charge” during a plea hearing today. He now faces a maximum of 5 years in prison, NBC Justice Correspondent @PeteWilliamsNBC reports. #TrumpColluded#TrumpRussia pic.twitter.com/GZvuYkESLv
— Jon Cooper (@joncoopertweets) February 23, 2018
The fact that Rick Gates is pleading guilty to just 2 of over 30 counts, shows that he has a boatload of incriminating evidence against others.
No prosecutor would let anyone off this easy unless he knows he can catch the YUGE fish if he does.
And I mean YUGE!
— Ed Krassenstein 💎 (@EdKrassen) February 23, 2018
Rick Gates, the Deputy Campaign Chairman for the President of the United States, just pled DOWN to Conspiracy Against the United States. Let that sink in for a minute. Trump had at least one actual traitor to our country running his affairs.
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) February 23, 2018
— Andrew Janz (@JanzforCongress) February 23, 2018