A former senior official in Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, Rick Gates, pleaded guilty on Friday to conspiracy against the United States and lying to investigators, and he is cooperating with a federal probe into Russia's role in the election.
The pair were accused of laundering 30 million USA dollars, failing to pay taxes for almost 10 years and using their real estate to fraudulently secure millions of dollars in loans, according to a 32-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Virginia on Thursday. The special counsel's office might ask Manafort to give evidence about other people in the Trump campaign orbit. In September 2012, he also provided Gates with talking points for use in a public relations campaign. Gates, 45, worked in Manafort's firm starting in 2006, and struck the deal with Mueller sometime mid-week.
Gates' lawyer, Thomas Green, didn't immediately respond to a question about whether his client planned to plead guilty.
Gates has acknowledged lying about being told by Manafort that there were no discussions about Ukraine at the meeting.
The bank apparently didn't see through these shenanigans-or didn't act on them if it did. Gates' change in plea, however, raises the prospect that Manafort's legal situation also could change again.
The false statements van der Zwaan admitted to making involved the timing of his last communication with Gates and a person, described as "Person A", who was a longtime business associate of Manafort and Gates in Ukraine. In the case of the Howard Street condo purchase, Manafort allegedly disguised $1.5 million from one of his Cypriot accounts as a loan in order to avoid income tax.
"Notwithstanding that Rick Gates pled today, I continue to maintain my innocence", Manafort said in a statement obtained by Business Insider. Defendants in tax cases have the right to insist on being charged in their home district.
Gates and Manafort still face a separate indictment filed Thursday by Mueller in a Virginia court, on charges of bank and tax fraud in relation to how they deployed their Ukraine earnings back into the United States.
"It's sad", said Burkman, who had hosted a fundraiser for Gates' legal defense fund.
Some attorneys believe Manafort's approach indicates he is hoping for a pardon from Trump.
Mueller's indictments against Manafort and Gates stem from their financial dealings in Ukraine during this period.
"It's very hard for me to imagine a scenario where they had any agreement with Gates for cooperation and then they filed a superseding indictment".
According to a criminal information - a document filed with the permission of the defendant which traditionally signals that person plans to plead guilty - Gates conspired to defraud the United States regarding the money he and his business partner Paul Manafort earned and lied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in a February 1, 2018, interview about a 2013 meeting he'd had with Manafort and an unidentified lobbyist. "You're going to be chopping away at an iceberg with a toothpick".