Former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates should get probation, prosecutors say

Image: Former Trump campaign official Rick Gates leaves Federal Court on De
Rick Gates leaves Federal Court on Dec. 11, 2017 in Washington. Copyright Brendan Smialowski AFP - Getty Images file
By Tom Winter and Dareh Gregorian with NBC News Politics
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Gates testified against former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort and former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone. Both were convicted.


Federal prosecutors have told a judge they don't oppose former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates' request for probation when he's sentenced next week — as long as he continues to cooperate with them.

Gates was Paul Manafort's business partner and worked on the Trump campaign. Gates pleaded guilty in February 2018 to conspiracy against the U.S., lying to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team, and other related charges.

He testified against former friend Manafort, and was also a key witness in trials of former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone and Greg Craig, a former White House counsel during the Obama administration turned private lawyer who was accused of lying to federal officials about work he did for Ukraine.

Manafort andStonewere both convicted, while Craig was acquitted.

In their sentencing memorandum, prosecutors said Gates "should be commended for standing up to provide information and public testimony against individuals such as Manafort, Craig, and Stone, knowing well that they enjoy support from the upper echelons of American politics and society."

"Gates received pressure not to cooperate with the government, including assurances of monetary assistance," the court filing notes.

Prosecutors did not detail in their memo who had offered the "monetary assistance."

The memo said Gates "has provided significant information contributing to the convictions of Manafort and Stone, and to other investigations that are ongoing."

"Since entering his guilty plea, Gates has worked assiduously to provide truthful, complete, and reliable information to any government investigators who have asked to speak with him," prosecutors said.

In their own filing, Gates' lawyers asked the judge presiding over the case, Amy Berman Jackson, to sentence him to probation. They cited the extraordinary amount of time he spent cooperating with Mueller's office.

"His time spent with OSC and other federal and state prosecution offices totals over five hundred hours. He has responded to three Congressional subpoenas and has been interviewed by Congressional staff. He has turned over documents at the request of each committee," the filing notes. "While it is fair to contend that all his cooperation was 'required' of him, it is also fair to say that he embraced his obligations as part of a determined effort to redeem himself."

He also acknowledged "he assisted Mr. Manafort in some of his criminal activity, and in the process he succumbed to temptation and engaged in unlawful conduct on a much smaller scale for his own benefit," the filing says.

Under the terms of his deal with prosecutors, Gates faces up to 71 months in prison for pleading to two felony counts, but could also ask for probation without opposition if he "fully cooperates."

Gates is due to be sentenced in Washington D.C. federal court on December 17th.

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