Rick Gates charged in Mueller's Russia probe

  31 October 2017    Read: 694
Rick Gates charged in Mueller's Russia probe
Richard Gates, a business associate of President Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, was told to surrender to federal authorities Monday morning.
The charges are the first to be filed in connection with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election – and the involvement of President Trump’s associates.

Gates and Manafort have been indicted by a federal grand jury and charged with 12 counts, including: conspiracy against the U.S., conspiracy to launder money, false statements, unregistered agent of a foreign principal, and multiple counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts, according to a Special Counsel Office spokesman.

Gates pleaded not guilty Monday afternoon, and a $5 million bond was set. He agreed to home detention.

Who is Rick Gates?

Gates is a protégée of Manafort, a June New York Times report said.

Gates, too, worked for the Trump campaign – and outlasted Manafort. Like Manafort, Gates helped wrangle delegates at the high-stakes 2016 Republican National Convention.

The one-time deputy campaign manager also helped start the nonprofit Americas First Policies, created to help advance the White House’s agenda. But Gates eventually left the group, reportedly due to his ties to Manafort.

But even after leaving the nonprofit, Gates still visited the White House multiple times, the Daily Beast reported earlier this year. The publication added that Gates is disliked by Trump.

As of two weeks ago, Gates was still working for Tom Barrack, a Trump confidant, helping with the closeout of the inauguration committee's campaign account, according to the Associated Press.

How is he connected to the Russia investigation?

During Manafort’s work with Ukraine, Gates would fly to Moscow to take meetings with Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, the New York Times reported. And Gates’ name has appeared on documents linked to companies that Manafort’s firm has set up to receive payments in Eastern Europe, according to the newspaper.

“Everything was done legally and with the approval of our lawyers,” Gates has told the New York Times. “Nothing to my knowledge was ever done inappropriately.”

Gates was also involved in a 2011 Ukranian racketeering lawsuit that also named Manafort.

Gates pleaded not guilty to all charges on Monday.

"He welcomes the opportunity to confront these charges in court," Glenn Selig, a spokesman for Gates, told Fox News.

"This fight is just beginning," Selig added.

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