Former Trump aide Richard Gates 'to plead guilty to fraud and testify against Paul Manafort'

Pair face charges including conspiracy to launder money, conspiracy to defraud US and failure to register as foreign agents in connection with political work in Ukraine

Samuel Osborne
Monday 19 February 2018 11:49 GMT
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Richard Gates can reportedly expect 'substantial reduction in his sentence' if he 'substantially cooperates' with investigation
Richard Gates can reportedly expect 'substantial reduction in his sentence' if he 'substantially cooperates' with investigation (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

A former aide to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has reportedly agreed to testify against its former chairman.

It is also thought that Richard Gates will also plead guilty to fraud-related charges.

When he presents a revised plea in a Washington DC federal court in the next few days, as well as making it clear that he will testify against Paul Manafort, according to the Los Angeles Times which first reported the story.

Both Mr Gates and Mr Manafort were charged in October by special counsel Robert Mueller as part of his ongoing investigation into whether Mr Trump's campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential election.

They face charges including conspiracy to launder money, conspiracy to defraud the United States and failure to register as foreign agents in connection with their political work for a pro-Russia party in Ukraine.

Both deny the charges and Mr Trump has repeatedly denied his campaign colluded with Russia.

Prosecutors revealed the charges against Mr Gates and Mr Manafort on the same day they unsealed a guilty plea from George Papadopoulos, another former Trump campaign aide.

A plea deal has also been agreed with Mr Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn.

Mr Gates can expect “a substantial reduction in his sentence” to around 18 months in prison, if he “substantially cooperates” with the investigation, the LA Times reported.

A fresh accusation of bank fraud against Mr Manafort has also been made by Mr Mueller’s office, according to court documents made public last week,

Separately Mr Mueller’s office charged 13 Russians and three Russian companies with a criminal and espionage conspiracy to tamper with the election and “sow discord in the US political system.”

Additional reporting by agencies

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