Mueller Gave Rick Gates A Chance To Watch His Kids Grow Up. But What is He Getting In Return?
Rick Gates, the 45-year-old father of four and one time associate of Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort, was facing up to 80 years in prison following Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s February indictment that the pair laundered money while working as unregistered agents for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine. The opportunity to see his children grow up, start their own lives and families was too much for Gates — like most people — so he decided to cooperate with Mueller. And that’s precisely what has President Trump and those in his inner circle petrified, according to a new report from Politico‘s Darren Samuelsohn.
“He saw everything,” said a Republican consultant who worked with Gates during the campaign. The consultant called Gates one of the “top five” insiders whom Mueller could have tapped as a cooperative government witness. One defense attorney in the case said Gates’ plea has triggered palpable alarm in Trump world.
“Let’s be honest, Don Jr. is not ratting out his dad. Gates is different”
After noting that he stayed with the campaign much longer than Manafort — through the transition and into the early part of the presidency — Samuelsohn points out that he doesn’t have the same inherent loyalty to the Trump brand or operation that other key players in the Russia scandal may have. And his sources confirm that’s the worry:
Worst of all for the White House, Gates lacks hard-wired loyalty. He is not family, like Trump’s oldest son, Donald Trump Jr., or his son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Nor is he among true Trump believers like Corey Lewandowski and Brad Parscale.
“Let’s be honest, Don Jr. is not ratting out his dad. Gates is different,” said Paul Rosenzweig, who served as a senior counsel to Whitewater independent counsel Ken Starr.
Gates is still facing prison time, but his plea agreement states that he will “be free to argue for any sentence below the advisory sentencing guideline range” — assuming he cooperates fully.
And if he really “saw everything”, and he cooperates fully, it could spell doom for the entire Trump Administration.
Photo Credit: Brendan Smialowski, Bloomberg