Rick Gates, the former deputy campaign manager for then-candidate Donald Trump in the 2016 election cycle and former business partner of Paul Manafort, was sentenced to 45 days in jail on December 17.
“I greatly regret the mistakes I’ve made, and I have worked hard to honor my commitment to make amends,” Gates told the court, as reported by Politico.
Lawyers for Gates urged Federal District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson to impose a lenient sentence of probation only, with no jail time, because of his extensive cooperation with federal prosecutors. The government’s lawyers did not object to the request.
However, Jackson sentenced Gates to 45 days of jail time and said it could be served intermittently and on weekends. Gates will also be required to serve three years of probation, although federal prosecutors recommended just one year of probation in exchange for his role as a critical high-profile government witness in cases against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and longtime political adviser Roger Stone.
“I wish to express to this court that I accept complete responsibility for my actions that have led me here,” Gates said before his sentencing. “I greatly regret the mistakes I’ve made and I’ve worked hard to honor my commitment to make amends.”
Gates and Manafort were among the first people charged as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. The two were indicted in Washington, D.C., in October 2017 for conspiracy, money laundering, and other alleged crimes.
In February 2018, Gates pleaded guilty to financial fraud and lying to investigators. In a bid for a lesser sentence, he sat with federal and state prosecutors for more than 500 hours, providing critical information into the operations of the Trump campaign.
The information became a critical part of Mueller’s final report into how Trump and his 2016 campaign released stolen emails of Democratic officials during the election cycle.
Jackson said on Tuesday that she had been struggling with how to handle the eventual sentencing, saying Gates didn’t seem to be a “bought and paid for puppet” of the Trump campaign or administration.
However, she noted her concern that — if she gave Gates a lighter sentence — the public perception and deterrence factor might be at jeopardy.
“This is what I’ve been struggling with in anticipation of this sentencing for a long time,” she said. “I have to ask myself, is more needed?”
In addition to jail time and probation, Gates was also assessed a $20,000 fine and 300 hours of community service.
Last month, a federal jury convicted Stone of witness tampering and lying to Congress about his involvement in the stolen Democratic emails, according to The Washington Post.
Also on Tuesday, Manafort — who has been serving time in a prison in Pennsylvania — was hospitalized for a cardiac event from which he has been recovering since Thursday, The Inquisitr reported.