Rick Gates — a former senior campaign aide and inauguration committee member for Donald Trump — has asked to have his GPS monitoring removed as he awaits sentencing, according to the Lincoln Journal-Star. Appearing before U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, Gates has also asked for the removal of his curfew and to be allowed to travel within a wider radius. Gates is a protege and longtime associate of Paul Manafort, both of whom were indicted in October 2017 by the Mueller Investigation on charges related to their shared lobbyist work for the Kremlin-backed government in the Ukraine.
Attorney Timothy Green, who represents Gates, said in his court filing that Gates has been a “model cooperating witness”, and that his number of cooperations with the Mueller Investigation have been “numerous” and “continue to this day”.
Gates got his start in Washington as an intern for Manafort at Manafort’s consulting firm, then moved with Manafort to join lobbyist Rick Davis when Manafort and Davis began the Davis Manafort firm. Working from an office in Kiev, Gates took over the firm’s relationships with key Ukranian political figures when Davis left the company to work on John McCain’s 2008 campaign.
When Manafort was promoted to Trump’s campaign manager in 2016, Gates became the second-in-command at the campaign. It was Gates who was blamed by a campaign source for the alleged plagiarism of Melania Trump’s speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention, according to The Guardian. Gates stayed on the campaign after Manafort was replaced by Steve Bannon, and was later rewarded with a post as Deputy Chairman on Trump’s inauguration committee.
On October 27, 2017, Gates and Manafort were indicted by a federal grand jury on twelve counts ranging from making false statements to the Mueller investigation to conspiracy. Gates posted a $5 million bond, but after prosecutors successfully argued that Gates was a flight risk, he was forced to surrender his passport and was placed under house arrest — an agreement which included the GPS tracking, curfew, and travel restrictions.
Gates has suffered a number of setbacks during his cooperation with the Mueller investigation as he awaits sentencing. Bloomberg reported in December that he fell afoul of Judge Jackson late last year for a fundraising video which violated his gag order on the case. Last February, three members of Gates’ legal team resigned, allegedly over unpaid legal fees, and shortly afterward, Mueller filed a superseding indictment that included 32 counts rather than the original 12.
Following the new Mueller indictments, Gates entered into a plea deal with the Mueller investigation to plead guilty and cooperate with the inquisition in exchange for only having to face two of the 32 counts. His sentencing date has yet to be set.