Manafort: Gates' Guilty Plea Doesn't 'Alter My Commitment To Defend Myself'

After leaving the campaign, Manafort created a company called Summerbreeze LLC, which took out a $9.5 million loan in December 2016 from Federal Savings. Additionally, however, Gates is accused of making a false statement to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office as recently as this month. But the new indictment compounds these very serious legal troubles that both men already have. The indictment followed a guilty plea by Manafort's longtime business associate, Rick Gates. Yet they covertly pushed positions favorable to Ukraine as paid lobbyists. A US judge set his sentencing for April 3.

The conspiracy, prosecutors say, spans from 2006 to 2017 and involved more than $75 million that flowed through offshore accounts.

For that matter, the charges don't even accuse Manafort or Gates of participating in any sort of election manipulation scheme.

A NY case could surface if Trump chose to pardon Manafort, since such pardons do not apply to state charges. Manafort says he had "hoped and expected" that Gates would have "the strength" to continue to trial. This new criminal information that includes the charge of providing a false statement would allow him to plead to a charge that carries a maximum penalty of just five years in prison.

Gate's plea come a week after a separate Mueller indictment accused 13 Russians in a conspiracy to undermine the USA presidential election.

Rick Gates, the former deputy campaign manager to US President Donald Trump, has pleaded guilty to conspiring against the United States and making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The development comes a day after Mueller filed a new indictment with 32 charges of tax evasion, bank fraud and other allegations against Gates and his former business partner, Paul Manafort, who served as Trump's campaign manager for three months in 2016, including at the tumultuous Republican National Convention. After Trump's election win in November that year, Gates was on Trump's presidential transition team and his inaugural committee.

Thai Court Says Japanese Tycoon Can Raise His 13 Surrogate Children
His Bangkok apartment was raided and the police found nine surrogate babies, nannies and a pregnant surrogate mother. This was certainly a win for the Japanese business man who has been campaigning for custody since 2014.

The White House said on Friday that the latest charges against Manafort and Gates were unrelated to Trump. This gives Mueller's special investigation a witness aware of the decisions made at the highest levels of the Trump campaign.

"Manafort was laundering tens of millions of dollars and Gates was laundering single figures, single millions of dollars in money", Zeldin continued.

Analysts said that Gates' plea could be a signal that he's willing to cooperate with the special counsel and could provide insight into the inner workings of the Trump campaign and transition at moments crucial to Mueller's investigation. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss details.

A one-time associate of Mueller described the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director as a "boa constrictor", whose investigative strategy involves progressively increasing the pressure on his targets.

The two men were initially charged in a 12-count indictment in October that accused them of a multimillion-dollar money-laundering conspiracy tied to lobbying work for a Russia-friendly Ukrainian political party.

Trump has repeatedly denied allegations of collusion between his campaign and the Kremlin while describing the Russian Federation probe as a "hoax" and a "witch hunt".

The defendant admitted lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his contacts with Rick Gates, who was the "number two" in the Trump campaign, and who worked together with Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, on behalf of former Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych, who had ties to Russian Federation and was the political rival of Tymoshenko.

  • Megan Austin