POLITICS

Rick Gates Sentenced For Conspiracy And Lying To FBI

Paul Manafort's former business partner cooperated extensively with the Mueller investigation.

Rick Gates, the former business partner of ex–Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, was sentenced to 45 days in jail, three years of probation and a $20,000 fine after pleading guilty in February 2018 to two charges related to conspiracy and making false statements. 

He will also need to serve 300 hours of community service. His jail time, however, can be served on weekends. 

“I accept complete responsibility for my actions,” Gates said in a Washington, D.C., court Tuesday before U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson.

The judge later said she believed his transformation was sincere. 

Gates, a former lobbyist and Trump campaign deputy campaign manager, secured a plea deal that led him to cooperate extensively in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, which sought to determine whether any Americans helped Russia interfere in the 2016 election.

As a star witness in the case against Manafort, Gates admitted last summer to a staggering array of criminal activity.

Although he faced four to six years in prison, prosecutors said in court filings last week that they would not oppose his request for no prison time and praised his “extraordinary assistance” in federal investigations. 

Gates and Manafort were among the first to be charged in Mueller’s investigation. Manafort is currently serving out a prison sentence of seven and a half years on fraud charges. 

Charges against Gates included conspiracy against the U.S. for “impeding, impairing, obstructing and defeating the lawful governmental functions of a government agency” related to his efforts to hide money earned lobbying in Ukraine on behalf of former Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych and other clients. He and Manafort used the secret millions to fund lavish lifestyles for themselves.

Gates also admitted that he lied to the FBI when asked about a meeting that took place in March 2013 between himself, Manafort, then-Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) and GOP consultant and lobbyist Vin Weber. Even though he was negotiating a plea deal with Mueller’s team at the time, Gates falsely said that Ukraine was not discussed during the meeting.

But his cooperation extended beyond the Manafort trial. He served as a witness in an offshoot case from the Mueller investigation against a prominent Washington attorney.

Gates also detailed a phone call that contradicted President Donald Trump during the trial of former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone. Gates testified that he heard then-candidate Trump indicate he knew more information would be coming from WikiLeaks, which disseminated the hacked Democratic National Committee emails that hurt Hillary Clinton’s campaign in mid-2016. The president told Mueller he never discussed WikiLeaks with Stone. 

In all, Gates spent more than 500 hours cooperating with prosecutors, his attorney said in court documents.

He has four children and a wife who is battling breast cancer.

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