Mueller Files New Charges Ahead of Guilty Plea from Former Trump Adviser

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Former Trump adviser Rick Gates wrote a 'heart-wrenching' letter to his family explaining why he would plead guilty in
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24 February, 2018

Gates' cooperation with Mueller could also spell trouble for Trump.

Rick Gates, who worked as a top aide on Donald Trump's presidential campaign, will plead guilty Friday in the special counsel's probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

"The reality of how long this legal process will likely take, the cost, and the circus-like atmosphere of an anticipated trial are too much", he reportedly wrote. "I will better serve my family moving forward by exiting this process".

"The effect is the public humiliation, which at this moment seems like a small price to pay for what our children would have to endure otherwise", Gates' letter said, according to ABC News.

While defendants entering into plea deals are typically required to provide information about everything prosecutors have under investigation, it's unclear how much insight Gates has into the core issues being investigated by Mueller: how Russian Federation allegedly sought to influence the 2016 presidential election and whether Trump campaign officials or American Trump backers colluded with such efforts. The 12 counts included conspiracy against the U.S., conspiracy to launder money, being an unregistered agent of a foreign principal, seven counts of failure to report foreign bank accounts and transactions, and submitting false Foreign Agent Registration Act forms as well.

The news comes a day after Mueller unveiled new charges against Gates and his former business associate Paul Manafort, who was Trump's campaign chief for a few months in 2016.

The guilty plea would follow a new indictment from Thursday evening in which prosecutors leveled even more charges against Manafort and Gates than they had been facing before.

Prosecutors allege that Manafort, with Gates' assistance, laundered more than $30 million and duped banks into lending money.

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Gates has often been described as Manafort's "right-hand man" and an influential Trump booster with wide-ranging connections to powerful leaders and businessmen around the world.

Gates and Manafort's financial crimes relate to their work with Ukrainians. He then went to work for a close friend of Trump's and reportedly retained access to the White House until at least June of past year. Gates remained on the Trump campaign after Manafort resigned in August 2016 and helped plan Trump's inauguration.

Gates is expected to appear in federal court on Friday afternoon.

Special counsel Robert Mueller is accusing President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman of secretly paying former European politicians to lobby on behalf of Ukraine.

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. Gates, 45, copped to one count of lying to federal investigators about what.

The indictment says the group was managed by a former European chancellor. When they belatedly reported the work in June, they said their company had been paid $17 million between 2012 and 2014. They largely relate to a conspiracy laid out in his indictments, but they do reveal that Gates is accused of lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation during an interview earlier this month.

Asked how he felt while leaving the courthouse after the plea, Gates smiled and said, "Very good".


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