Rick Gates agrees to plead guilty and testify against Paul Manafort

Rick Gates, a longtime business partner of indicted Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort who also served as deputy chairman of Trump’s campaign and inaugural committee, has agreed to plead guilty and testify against Manafort in exchange for a lighter prison sentence on fraud charges, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday.

Gates was indicted in November 2017 and entered a not guilty plea at the time. The charges against him grew out of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s “wide-ranging investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and whether Trump or his aides committed crimes before, during or since the campaign,” the Times said.

He is expected to serve 18 months behind bars and forfeit illicit profits in exchange for his cooperation with Mueller’s team. His cooperation with prosecutors is a blow to Manafort, as he knows a great deal about Manafort’s dealings, but Gates is not thought to have information that incriminates Trump.

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