On December 17, 2019, federal judge, Amy Berman Jackson, sentenced the former Trump’s election campaigner, Rick Gates, to 45 days in prison and three years’ probation after Gates’ pleaded guilty.
He will be serving his sentence on weekends or periodically during the three years. The leniency of Gates’ sentence was due to his consent to cooperate in the Mueller investigation, which conducted the controversial case of “Russian interference in the 2016 US election.”
Gates Admitted His Mistakes
Gates pleaded guilty related to the charges of conspiracy and lying to investigators in February 2018. He also agreed to cooperate and share key insights into Mueller’s team about Manafort and Trump’s actions in 2016, which was considered leading to Russian interference in the US election.
Gates admitted on Tuesday, “I accept complete responsibility for my actions” and asked for leniency before receiving his sentence. The state prosecutor, Molly Gaston, called Gates’ cooperation ‘extraordinary’, as it was perceived that Manafort, on several occasions, pressurized Gates not to plead guilty against the charges in 2018.
Thomas Green, Gates’ defense attorney told to the judge, “He never second-guessed whether he was doing the right thing. I admire him for all of that effort.”
Gates who will be a witness in the Mueller investigation admitted that he assisted Paul Manafort, the 2016 Trump’s head campaigner to conceal $75 million and shared the details about Trump’s efforts to hide the money in foreign banks. Jackson who ruled the court judgment held high of Gates’ honesty and appreciated his decision to share the truth despite enormous political pressure.
As the judge commented, “Gates’ decision to be honest about what he did know and to decline to make assumptions or guess what he didn’t know is an important public service.” The judge further claimed, “What Gates told prosecutors about the Trump campaign and Manafort has since been verified by extensive documentation.” With this new development, the judge believed that the information given by Gates would urge the Justice Department to grant authority for an investigation into a link between Russian interference and the Trump campaign.
The Fallout of the Gates Testimony
Robert Mueller, who led the investigation of the 2016 controversial issue, would rely on Gates’ final report of confession. Gates earlier testified at trials against Manafort, Roger Stone, and another former associate, Greg Craig, on a Ukraine issue.
Manafort was accused of various charges on financial crimes including tax evasion and money laundering in late October 2017, and now he is serving seven years of prison after he was convicted of his crimes. Roger Stone was convicted for crimes, including interfering with an official proceeding, in November 2019. However, Craig was acquitted by a jury.
After Gates’ confession in the trial yesterday, Jackson stated, “The failure of Gates and his boss Manafort to disclose about the lobbying on behalf of Ukrainian clients and hiding their income from the work was a significant wrong.” As a part of Gates’ sentence, he will pay a $20,000 fine and serve for 300 hours of community service.
However, the jury members agreed that Gates’ confession was the right thing to do. Jackson added, “Gates’ information alone warranted, indeed demanded, further investigation for the sake of national security and the integrity of elections.” Considering the Gates’ actions an important moment for Americans, Jackson commented, “Politics don’t corrupt people, people corrupt politics” and appealed to the people to respect the law.
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