Tuesday, 23 April, 2019

New indictment filed against former Trump campaign chief

Patty Aguilar | 25 February, 2018, 05:32

He also pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy, failure to register as an agent of a foreign entity and making false statements to investigators, which were contained in a previous indictment unveiled last October. The charges against Gates are not part of Friday's new indictment against Manafort.

The adviser, Rick Gates, is a longtime political consultant who once served as Mr Trump's deputy campaign chairman.

Gates' expected guilty plea would make him the third individual known to be cooperating with Mueller, in addition to early campaign early foreign-policy adviser George Papadopoulos and former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Gates pledged to cooperate with Mueller in the ongoing Russia probe into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia and Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential elections.

Gates and Manafort initially were charged with a dozen counts of fraud, conspiracy and money laundering in October, and they pleaded not guilty to those charges.

The indictment does not name other members of the group or say how many former politicians were involved. Manafort allegedly laundered $18 million to buy homes and luxury goods. Even on Friday, ahead of his plea, Gates had asked the judge to let him take his children to Boston for spring break so they could "learn about American history in general, and the Revolutionary War in particular".

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Republican campaign adviser and author Phillip Stutts argued on Fox News on Friday that the recent charges against former Trump campaign officials show that "there's really nothing there" in the Russian Federation investigation, butting heads with a Democratic speechwriter who upheld the charges as significant warning signs for the Trump White House.

In recent weeks, the Democrats and news media such as the Times, the Post and broadcast outlets like CNN and NBC have fumed over Trump's failure to impose new sanctions on Russian Federation passed months ago by overwhelming majorities in both houses of Congress.

A person familiar with the negotiated plea said Gates can expect "a substantial reduction in his sentence" if he fully cooperates with the special counsel's investigation.

Richard Gates, former associate to Paul Manafort, leaves the Prettyman Federal Courthouse after a hearing February 23, 2018 in Washington, DC. However, the second set released Thursday centers on activities by the two accused in support of the Russian-backed government of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who was driven from office in 2014 in a fascist-led coup directed and financed by Washington.

Yanukovych was ousted from the presidency in 2014 amid widespread protests against his Russia-friendly positions and his decision to back out of a deal that would have promoted closer ties between Ukraine and the West and distanced Ukraine from Russian Federation.

The group, managed by a former European chancellor, appeared to "be providing their independent assessments" of the Ukrainian governments' actions, "when in fact they were paid lobbyists for Ukraine".

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