Business Insider has reported that a Virginia court has granted a request to dismiss over 20 of the criminal charges brought on Rick Gates at the request of Robert Mueller. This turn of events signals perhaps that the former deputy chairman for the Trump Presidential Campaign might have substantial information that can assist the Mueller investigation into the Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential Election. The charges were brought upon Gates last Thursday in a session alongside former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and involved a bevy of financial crimes. Gates had already pleaded guilty on Friday to conspiracy against the U.S. and lying to federal investigators.
Gates is well known in his role as a deputy to Manafort during the 2016 election. He survived Manafort’s ousting and maintained on the campaign during the Steve Bannon phase, working on the transition team and advised the White House until questions surrounding his ties to Russia forced a departure. Gates was charged in October with the crimes he recently pleaded guilty to.
The former deputy chairman’s privileged role in the campaign as well as close working relationship to Manafort makes him a high-value target for information. The scale at which the Mueller investigation has retracted charges against Gates indicates that special counsel Robert Mueller might be able to extract critical information on both the criminal conduct of Paul Manafort and the extent of which the Russian Government sought to penetrate the 2016 election. Paul Manafort himself has maintained that he is innocent of any wrongdoing while the Russian government denies any role in influencing the election.
Rick Gates would be the third person in the Mueller investigation to agree to a plea deal following campaign aide George Papadopoulus and former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. The Mueller investigation is still ongoing.