Manafort, Gates Choose Divergent Paths in Response to Mueller Probe

Lester Mason
February 25, 2018

Gates' guilty plea comes a day after a federal grand jury in Virginia returned an indictment against him and former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort accusing them of tax evasion and bank fraud.

Gates also pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the making false statements regarding his status as a foreign agent, a charge initially proffered in the first indictment from October 27, 2017. However, Manafort said in a statement issued after Gates' plea deal that he maintained his innocence.

Just in the last eight days, the Special Counsel filed an indictment against the Russians; a guilty plea with an American who unwittingly assisted the Russians in obtaining false identities; a guilty plea with a former attorney and the son-in-law of a Russian oligarch who lied to prosecutors about contacts with Gates; a new indictment against Gates and Manafort for tax fraud and bank fraud; a guilty plea and cooperation agreement with Gates; and superseding indictment against Manafort. The White House continues to insist no evidence exists of any wrongdoing by the campaign.

Gates' plea deal, meanwhile, appears to be significantly worse than those granted to other cooperating witnesses in the Russian Federation investigation, according to Renato Mariotti, a former federal prosecutor.

Other high-profile people linked to Trump's campaign known to be cooperating with the Russian Federation investigation include former foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, and former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

The indictment unveiled Thursday underscored the ruthlessness with which Mueller is proceeding.

On Thursday night, Gates emailed a brief letter to friends and family, telling them of his decision to plead guilty, Republican lobbyist Jack Burkman said.

"It is expected to be one charge against Gates", said the government official familiar with the case.

The indictment says the group was managed by a former European chancellor and part of the sect lobbying took place in the U.S.

Rohrabacher has become notorious for being what The New York Times calls "an apologist" for Putin.

Manafort resigned as Trump's campaign chairman in August 2016 after The New York Times reported a Ukrainian government corruption probe found Manafort received almost $13 million off the books from a pro-Russian Ukrainian political party. Trump has said there was no collusion, and has also denied any attempt to obstruct Mueller's probe. They view Russian Federation as a key obstacle to imposing USA domination over the Middle East and preparing to confront and defeat China.

"If they are soliciting things from a foreign government, receiving things of value from a foreign national, that would disrupt the fair administrations of our elections and could be conspiracy to defraud the United States", she continued. Neither indictment indicated that either Mr. Gates or Mr. Manafort had information about the central question of Mr. Mueller's investigation - whether the President or his aides coordinated with the Russian government's efforts to disrupt the 2016 election.

Rick Gates was Manafort's former business partner in a firm that lobbied on behalf of pro-Kremlin Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich.

The charges stem from an October 2017 indictment accusing Gates and his business associate, Paul Manafort, of planning to defraud the US government about money they received for political consultant work in Ukraine. While sitting down with Mueller's team three weeks ago to negotiate a plea deal, Gates falsely told the prosecutors that Ukraine was not discussed at the meeting. Just weeks ago, the U.S. government released new national security and defense documents declaring that the preparation for "great power conflict" had supplanted the "war on terror" as the focus of Pentagon defense policy, and identifying Russian Federation and China as the chief threats. Green, a high-powered defence lawyer, won a plea deal for former House Speaker Dennis Hastert after he was charged with concealing almost US$1 million of US$1.7 million in secret payments to hide allegations of sexual abuse. Days later, the United States killed perhaps dozens of Russian military contractors in an air and artillery barrage in Syria's Deir Ezzor province. The congressman has already been interviewed by the House and Senate Intelligence committees.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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