Ex-Trump Campaign Aide Richard Gates Pleads Guilty To Conspiracy Against The U.S. In Russia Investigation
Gates' guilty plea is for two counts: U.S. conspiracy and lying to federal agents.
February 23, 2018 at 10:09 pm
President Trump has been feeling the heat ever since hopping on Twitter to demand that the DOJ investigate the Obama administration in the Russia probe, but it looks like things are about to get hotter for the president.
On Friday, former Trump campaign aide Richard Gates appeared before a federal judge to plead guilty on two counts in connection with special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, ABC News reports. Gates will face reduced charges on conspiracy against the U.S. and lying to federal agents.
This new plea shakes things up as it comes a day after Mueller dropped new financial and tax charges against Gates and Trump's ex-campaign manager Paul Manafort. In fact, Gates' plea resulted in brand new charges against Manafort, including allegations that he secretly recruited former European politicians to lobby for Trump on behalf of Ukraine, reported NBC News.
Moments before appearing in front of a federal judge, Gates wrote a letter detailing his plans to his family and friends, “despite my initial desire to vigorously defend myself, I have had a change of heart." Last fall, Gates pleaded not guilty — along with Manafort — in connection with the Mueller investigation.
“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. I will better serve my family moving forward by exiting this process,” Gates continued.
The special counsel's office has not yet commented on any specifics regarding Gates' plea deal or what it contains.