Special Counsel Robert Mueller is asking the judge to postpone the sentencing of former Donald Trump campaign senior adviser Rick Gates, as the former associate of Paul Manafort continues to cooperate with various Department of Justice investigations.
Time magazine says that Mueller is asking the judge in this case to hold off on sentencing Gates for two months due to his level of cooperation in several cases in the Department of Justice. While the special counsel didn’t get specific in his request, he said there are “several ongoing investigations” in which Gates’ help is essential.
Gates is a playing a role not only in the Mueller probe into Russian election interference, but also federal investigations in New York into Trump’s inauguration committee and foreign lobbying. Gates has already pleaded guilty to “conspiracy and false statement charges related to Ukrainian lobbying and political consulting he carried out with former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.”
Politico shared Mueller’s filing to the judge in the U.S. District Court in Washington, who will ultimately sentence Gates. At this time, the former main witness in the Manafort trial is facing just over seven years in prison, but with additional cooperation, he could reduce his sentence.
Lawyers for the special counsel and Gates have filed four updates requesting delays while the former Trump campaign adviser continues to help in the various cases and potentially could file another approaching the new May deadline, says Politico. Gates helped run the inauguration with Trump friend and associate Tom Barrack, and is now aiding into the investigation about the source of the donations and how the funds were spent.
The Hill is reporting that Friday was the deadline for Mueller to file for an extension on Gates’ sentencing, and it was done with the consent of the Trump campaign adviser’s legal team. It is being suggested that if Gates had no more to contribute, he would ask to move on to his sentencing date.
Glenn Kirschner, a former federal prosecutor in D.C. says that it’s likely that anything that Manafort knows, Gates knows also, so he is an asset to Mueller.
“Whatever Manafort knows about Russian collusion with the campaign, Gates is going to know it too, either because he personally participated in it, or because Manafort kept him apprised of what was going on. I suspect he is a pretty big-ticket witness for Mueller.”
Kirschner says that like Manafort, Gates has connections with the Kremlin and in Ukraine.