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Mueller Star Witness Is Sentenced To 45 Days In Jail, To Be Served On Weekends

Chuck Ross on December 17, 2019

Rick Gates, the former Trump campaign official who was a star witness in several cases handled by the special counsel’s office, was sentenced Tuesday to serve 45 days in jail on conspiracy and false statements charges.

Gates, a former business associate of Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, will be allowed to serve out his sentence on weekends, according to The Washington Post. He also received three years’ probation.

The sentence is more than prosecutors’ recommendation that Gates received one year of probation and no jail time for his extensive cooperation in several cases involving Trump associates.

Gates testified at two trials that stemmed from the special counsel’s investigation of the Trump campaign. He testified against Manafort in a 2018 case that saw the former Trump campaign chairman convicted on bank and tax fraud charges. Gates also testified against longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone, who was convicted Nov. 15 on false statements and witness tampering charges.

The special counsel’s office indicted Gates and Manafort on Oct. 31, 2017, on a slew of financial crimes charges stemming from income they received from work in Ukraine. But while Manafort took his case to trial, Gates entered a plea agreement with prosecutors Feb. 23, 2018.

Gates’s cooperation with the special counsel did not yield what some Trump critics hoped it might. The longtime GOP operative shared insights about his work with Manafort and his interactions on the Trump campaign, but did not provide any testimony showing that the Trump team conspired with Russia to influence the 2016 election.

Gates is the fourth Trump associate to be sentenced in cases handled by the special counsel.

Manafort, who was convicted Aug. 21, 2018, was sentenced to nearly seven and a half years in prison. Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos have also received prison sentences after entering plea deals with the government.

Stone is awaiting sentencing in his case, as is Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty in the special counsel’s investigation Dec. 1, 2017. Flynn has also cooperated extensively with federal prosecutors.

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