Rick Gates, a former Donald Trump campaign official, pleaded guilty to two criminal charges as part of the extensive investigation by special prosecutor Robert Mueller about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential elections in the United States.
Gates was sentenced Tuesday to serve 45 days in prison and pay a USD 20,000 fine for his participation in a criminal financing scheme and for lying to a federal prosecutor, The New York Times reported. At 47, Gates can serve the penalty intermittently on weekends, if he prefers. In addition, he was sentenced to three years of probation and 300 hours of community service.
"I am very sorry for the mistakes I have made and have worked hard to honor my commitment to make amends," Amy Berman Jackson of the Federal District Court in the District of Columbia told Judge.RELATED
Expert lawyers in the case assured The New York Times that Gates 'decision to cooperate with Robert Mueller was "a turning point" for the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 elections. Thomas C. Green, Gates' lawyer He described the cooperation of his client for almost two years as "an incredible effort of redemption."
According to a CNN article, Gates' guilty agreement placed the attention of former Trump campaign president Paul Manafort. Gates was Manafort's right hand for a decade. In addition, he had access to most, if not all, of his activities during the campaign and stayed in Trump's orbit after his resignation.
Manafort, on the other hand, pleaded not guilty to all charges against him. In addition, according to CNBC, a prosecutor said that at the hearing in which Gates admitted his guilt, Manafort asked him not to plead guilty.
Both Gates and Manafort were originally charged with financial crimes related to their consulting work for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine, prior to assuming their in the Trump campaign. After agreeing to collaborate with Mueller, he met with the prosecutor's team and members of the office of other federal prosecutors at least 50 times, for more than 500 hours.
He then testified at the Manafort trial in 2018 and at the trial of Trump's friend, Roger Stone, earlier this year. Both were convicted: Manafort is serving a seven-and-a-half-year prison sentence for multiple crimes, while Stone awaits sentencing for lying to Congress and manipulating witnesses.