U.S. Backs Leniency for Gates, Citing ‘Extraordinary’ Help

U.S. Backs Leniency for Gates, Citing ‘Extraordinary’ Help(Bloomberg) — Former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates deserves leniency for his “extraordinary assistance” with offshoots of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, the government told a judge just days before his sentencing.Prosecutors said in a court filing Tuesday that they don’t oppose Gates’s request for probation. They also said that Gates deserved praise for standing up to powerful people and weathering “intense media scrutiny.” They wrote, without providing specifics, that “Gates received pressure not to cooperate with the U.S. government, including assurances of monetary assistance.”Gates was a critical witness in Mueller’s investigation of Russian election interference. He was the star prosecution witness in the trial of his former boss Paul Manafort, who was convicted of bank and tax fraud, and he testified against Trump ally Roger Stone and former Obama White House counsel Greg Craig. Gates met with investigators more than 50 times, prosecutors said.But prosecutors also noted Gates’s many crimes.“Gates did not commit crimes only with Manafort,” they wrote. “On a far smaller scale, he also committed crimes on his own and for his own benefit. He failed to report more than $ 3 million in income on his tax returns over several years, failed to disclose his own foreign bank accounts, and stole approximately several hundred thousand dollars from Manafort’s overseas accounts.”Gates also engaged in mortgage fraud by overstating his income, submitted false reimbursement vouchers to employers, and participated in an investment-fraud scheme with a man charged in Manhattan, they said.Gates was Manafort’s right-hand man in his political consulting firm and worked with him for a decade before joining him on President Donald Trump’s campaign. Manafort is serving a 7 1/2-year prison sentence for financial fraud.Indicted in 2017 with Manafort, who was Trump’s 2016 campaign chairman, Gates later pleaded guilty to conspiring with Manafort to hide their work as unregistered foreign agents and to conceal his former boss’s offshore bank accounts.Gates’s lawyers asked U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson to sentence him to probation in a late Monday court filing. He said he accepted responsibility “in every way possible.” He will be sentenced on Dec. 17.Read MoreGates Says He Stole, Lied and Cheated But Trust Him AnywayTrump Hovers Over Stone Trial in Testimony on Clinton LeaksEx-Trump Campaign Aide Gates Testifies in Trial of Gregory Craig(Updates with prosecutors’ praise of Gates in second paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Harris in federal court in Washington at aharris16@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: David Glovin at dglovin@bloomberg.net, David S. JoachimFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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