Rick Gates still cooperating in 'several ongoing investigations'

Access to the comments Comments
By Tom Winter and Pete Williams and Rich Schapiro  with NBC News Politics
Image: Paul Manafort
Rick Gates departs federal court in Washington on Dec. 11, 2017.   -   Copyright  Susan Walsh AP file

Former Donald Trump campaign aide Rick Gates is still cooperating in "several ongoing investigations," defense lawyers and federal prosecutors said Friday, suggesting probes stemming from special counsel Robert Mueller's inquiry into Russian election interference remain active.

The details were contained in court papers requesting a further postponement of the sentencing for Gates, who pleaded guilty last February to financial fraud and lying to investigators.

"Defendant Gates continues to cooperate with respect to several ongoing investigations, and accordingly the parties do not believe it is appropriate to commence the sentencing process at this time," the court filing says, requesting that the two sides be given 60 days to provide an update.

The court papers mark the third time the two sides have asked a judge to hold off on Gates's sentencing by citing his continued cooperation in multiple investigations.

Gates, who served as Trump's deputy campaign chairman and deputy chairman of the Trump inaugural committee, agreed to cooperate with Robert Mueller's prosecutors after pleading guilty to hiding money he earned from lobbying work on behalf of pro-Russian groups in the Ukraine.

Gates, who is facing up to six years in prison under the terms of his cooperation deal, was the star witness in the financial fraud trial of his longtime partner Paul Manafort. During Manafort's trial in federal court in Virginia, Gates admitted to tax fraud, extramarital affairs and embezzling money from his former boss and mentor.

Manafort has been sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison for charges brought by Mueller's office in federal courts in Washington, D.C., and Virginia. The 69-year-old longtime GOP operative has also been charged by the Manhattan District Attorney's Office in an alleged multimillion-dollar mortgage fraud scheme.