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Rick Gates, ex-Trump official who aided Mueller probe, sentenced to 45 days in jail

Rick Gates speaks out since Russia probe

Washington — Rick Gates, the former Trump campaign official and onetime business partner of Paul Manafort, was sentenced to 45 days in jail on counts of conspiracy and lying to federal investigators.

Gates, 47, appeared in federal court in Washington to learn his sentence Tuesday. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson sentenced him to 36 months probation and 45 days behind bars, which he will be allowed to serve on weekends or under a schedule set by probation officers. He must also pay a fine of $20,000 over the course of 20 months, and complete 300 hours of community service.

Gates was one of six Trump associates charged in connection to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. He pleaded guilty to two counts in February 2018, admitting he lied to federal investigators and helped Manafort conceal millions of dollars in overseas payments. Gates agreed to cooperate with the government, becoming the star witness in high-profile trials of three others charged in the Mueller probe: Manafort, Roger Stone and Greg Craig. 

Because of his extensive cooperation with the government, federal prosecutors recommended that Jackson sentence Gates to probation, a much lighter punishment than the maximum 10 years in prison the charges allowed under federal guidelines.

Russia Probe Gates
Rick Gates arrives at federal court in Washington for his sentencing on Tuesday, December 17, 2019. Jose Luis Magana / AP

Gates was Manafort's right-hand man and became his deputy when Manafort was named chairman of the Trump campaign in 2016. After Manafort was forced to step down over revelations about his work in Ukraine, Gates stayed on, becoming a liaison between the campaign and the Republican National Committee. He helped plan President Trump's inauguration before leaving for a job with a pro-Trump outside group. 

At Manafort's trial on charges of bank fraud and other financial crimes, Gates provided crucial testimony against his former boss, telling jurors Manafort had instructed him to forge financial documents and IRS forms.

In the case of former Trump adviser Roger Stone, Gates testified he overheard a phone call between Stone and then-candidate Trump talking about Wikileaks in July 2016. Stone was convicted of seven charges at trial in November and awaits sentencing.

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