Rick Gates, Ex-Trump Aide and Key Witness for Mueller, to Be Sentenced

Rick Gates, Ex-Trump Aide and Key Witness for Mueller, to Be Sentenced


WASHINGTON — After helping bring down two former advisers to President Trump, the former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates is scheduled to be sentenced on Tuesday morning for his part in a criminal financial scheme and for lying to federal investigators.

Mr. Gates, 47, is hoping that he will be spared a prison term because he cooperated extensively with the government after pleading guilty in February 2018.

Sentencing guidelines recommend that Mr. Gates, who was a deputy campaign chairman in 2016 and went on to help manage Mr. Trump’s inauguration, serve a prison term of 46 to 57 months. But the guidelines are only advisory.

And legal experts said the fact that federal prosecutors are not opposing Mr. Gates’s request for probation sends a strong signal to the sentencing judge that the government does not want Mr. Gates to end up behind bars. Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the Federal District Court in the District of Columbia, who has overseen three cases in which Mr. Gates provided evidence for the government, will decide his punishment.

“Probation is a very generous break, but it sounds like his cooperation has been extraordinary,” said Barbara McQuade, a University of Michigan law professor and former federal prosecutor who observed one trial in which Mr. Gates testified for the government. “I would guess the court would go along with that,” she said.

“When the government is not opposing a term of probation, and somebody has helped the government as much as Gates has helped, most judges would agree to a term of probation,” said Chuck Rosenberg, a former federal prosecutor and senior F.B.I. official who has followed the Gates case.

Securing the cooperation of Mr. Gates was considered a coup for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, whose investigation of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election bedeviled Mr. Trump for nearly two years before it ended last spring.

Mr. Gates testified in two major trials that sprang from Mr. Mueller’s inquiry: the case against Paul Manafort, Mr. Trump’s former campaign chairman who is now serving a prison term of more than seven years for tax fraud, bank fraud and other crimes, and the prosecution of Roger J. Stone Jr., Mr. Trump’s longtime friend who is awaiting sentencing on a conviction of lying to Congress.

Mr. Gates also testified against Gregory B. Craig, a well-known Washington lawyer who was acquitted on charges of deceiving federal authorities about his work with Mr. Manafort in Ukraine.

According to court filings, Mr. Gates met with F.B.I. agents and prosecutors roughly 50 times and provided information that was used in more than a dozen search warrants. He resisted “pressure not to cooperate with the government, including assurances of monetary assistance,” prosecutors said in their sentencing memorandum.

“Gates’s cooperation has been steadfast despite the fact that the government has asked for his assistance in high-profile matters against powerful individuals in the midst of a particularly turbulent environment,” they wrote.



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