Ex-Trump campaign aide Rick Gates should get probation, prosecutors say

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, who was Paul Manafort’s business partner and worked on the Trump campaign, pleaded guilty in February 2018 to conspiracy against the United States, lying to former special counsel Robert Mueller’s team, and other related charges.

He testified against Manafort and was also a key witness in the 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 and Stone were 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.”

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UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 30: FILE PHOTO Rick Gates looks on as GOP Presidential candidate Donald Trump checks the podium early Thursday afternoon in preparation for accepting the GOP nomination to be President at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio on Wednesday July 20, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 30: FILE PHOTO Rick Gates looks on as GOP Presidential candidate Donald Trump checks the podium early Thursday afternoon in preparation for accepting the GOP nomination to be President at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio on Wednesday July 20, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 30: FILE PHOTO From left, GOP Presidential candidate Donald Trump, campaign manager Paul Manafort and Rick Gates stand on stage during their podium check early Thursday afternoon in preparation for accepting the GOP nomination to be President at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio on Wednesday July 20, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 30: FILE PHOTO From left, Rick Gates, GOP Presidential candidate Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump,flanked by campaign manager Paul Manafort and daughter Ivanka, campaign manager Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner stand on stage during their podium check early Thursday afternoon in preparation for accepting the GOP nomination to be President at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio on Wednesday July 20, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
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“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 Dec. 17.

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