Former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates gets 45 days in jail
Donald Trump’s former deputy campaign chairman, Rick Gates, was sentenced on Tuesday to spend a total of 45 days in jail, almost two years after he began extensively co-operating with prosecutors who were investigating the president’s ties to Russia.
In addition to the 45 days in jail, to be served intermittently, he was also sentenced to 36 months’ probation and 300 hours of “hands on” community service, in addition to a $20,000 fine.
Mr Gates pleaded guilty to conspiracy and making false statements in February 2018 and subsequently spent hundreds of hours assisting special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe. He also testified in three separate trials.
Ahead of his sentencing, prosecutors said the former Trump aide had provided “extraordinary assistance”, not just to Mr Mueller’s team but also to other parts of the Department of Justice, despite “intense public scrutiny” and pressure.
“Gates’ co-operation has been steadfast despite the fact that the government has asked for his assistance in high-profile matters, against powerful individuals, in the midst of a particularly turbulent environment,” prosecutors wrote last week.
In Mr Gates’s submission to the court, his lawyers noted he had spent 500 hours co-operating with Mr Mueller’s team, as well as federal and state prosecutors. “He embraced his obligations as part of a determined effort to redeem himself,” they wrote requesting he be sentenced to probation, which the government did not oppose.
Mr Mueller’s final report, which did not establish a criminal conspiracy between Mr Trump’s campaign and the Russian government, would ultimately cite Mr Gates’ testimony dozens of times as it laid out a picture of Russian contacts with members of the Trump campaign.
Mr Gates had been originally indicted in October 2017 on charges that he had failed to register as a foreign agent for Ukraine. He began co-operating with prosecutors after being charged with bank and tax fraud in February 2018.
The former Trump aide subsequently took the stand in the trial of Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman who he had worked as a lobbyist alongside in Ukraine before the 2016 election. Mr Manafort is now serving seven and a half years in prison.
Mr Gates also testified against Gregory Craig, the former White House counsel for President Barack Obama. Mr Craig was acquitted of charges he misled the justice department about a report he wrote for the Ukrainian government.
Most recently, Mr Gates testified against Roger Stone, a longtime friend and adviser to Mr Trump. Mr Stone was convicted on charges of lying to Congress and is awaiting sentencing in February.
The prosecutors’ memo last week noted that Mr Gates had agreed to continue to co-operate “in several ongoing matters”.