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Rick Rolling Gates

Never gonna give you up, probably
Never gonna let you down, but Bob Mueller’s counting on it
Never gonna run around and desert you, even though I got another passport
Never gonna make you cry, you big baby
Never gonna say goodbye, still got that passport
Never gonna tell a lie, I don’t have to, and hurt you, you might tweet me

  • Rick Gates is a 45-year-old political consultant and lobbyist. He was deputy to Paul Manafort who was in charge of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
  • Gates has been a protégé and partner to Manafort of and on for 20 years.
  • Gates and Manafort pled not guilty to 12 counts that include
    • Conspiracy to launder money
    • Conspiracy against the U.S. unregistered agent of a foreign principal,
    • False statements, and
    • Failure of filing reports of financial accounts and foreign banks to the special counsel.
  • According to the Washington Post, “None of the charges against Gates [connect him to] the main focus of Mueller’s investigation. But his nearly year-long presence in Trump’s orbit could make him a valuable witness, if he chooses to cooperate.
  • He is considered a flight risk. He recently obtained a passport that was not turned over when he was charged (as was required.)
  • Gates often flew to Moscow to meet with billionaire Russian Oligarch, Oleg Deripaska. (NY Times)
  • After the 2007 financial crisis, Deripaska pursued Manafort and Gates, even petitioning against them in court alleging they owed him $19 million. His lawyer said Manafort and Gates “have simply disappeared.”
  • Gates was aware of George Papadopoulos’ attempts to broker a meeting between Trump and Putin. Manafort emailed Gates: “we need someone to communicate that [Trump] is not doing these trips. It should be someone low level in the campaign so as not to send any signal.” Gates replied that he would get a low level aide for the correspondence.
  • Gates remained in Trump’s circle even when after Manafort left due to increasing talk of his ties with Russians.

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