On Sunday, the Los Angeles Times reported that former Trump campaign adviser Rick Gates has agreed to testify against his former business partner and Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, who was indicted after a shocking early morning raid on his Alexandria, Virginia apartment.
Gates was also indicted at that time, and the two formal announcements from the special counsel team assembled by Robert Mueller marked the first high-profile advancements in the ongoing probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign and Trump campaign involvement that may have stemmed from it. Gates, like Manafort, had pleaded not guilty to the charges he faced; the Times reports that those close to him now say that he will change his plea to guilty within “the next few days.”
At that time, the revised plea will be presented in federal court, said the source, who had to remain anonymous due to a gag order on comments to the media about the case.
Unfortunately for Donald Trump, the charges against Manafort and Gates have more than incidental overlap with their involvement with the Trump campaign, especially given Manafort’s former position as a lobbyist for Ukraine, the country that Trump announced a new, friendlier upcoming US position toward — and toward Russia’s interests in Ukraine — at the Cleveland convention at which he accepted the Republican nomination.
With Trump’s very public freakouts over the recent indictments of 13 Russian nationals and 3 Russian organizations for a plethora of charges related to the election, it stands to reason that perhaps Trump has gotten wind of this development; most intelligence experts, when Trump goes on another Twitter rant about the investigation, are quick to point out that his behavior is at least suspicious and at most a blatant attempt to deflect from new, damning information about him.
Gates now joins fellow former Team Trump members George Papadopoulos and disgraced General Michael Flynn as defendants who have pleaded guilty to Mueller’s special counsel.
Featured image via NCT Gallery