While the nation has long since moved on from Trump–Russia collusion, the consequences of Robert Mueller’s witch hunt are still being felt.
Rick Gates, a former campaign aide to Donald Trump, was sentenced to 45 days in jail and three years of probation Tuesday despite “extraordinary” cooperation with Mueller’s probe, Breitbart reported. Gates is among a handful of Trump’s associates who have faced criminal penalties from cases originating from Mueller’s investigation.
Rick Gates sentenced to jail
Gates, a former business partner of Paul Manafort, was one of the first to go down in the Mueller probe when he pleaded guilty in February of 2018 to conspiracy and lying to the FBI. The judge at his hearing applauded Gates for his cooperation in more than 50 meetings with prosecutors, even as she reprimanded him for financial crimes.
According to U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, “Gates’ information alone warranted — indeed, demanded — further investigation from the standpoint of our national security, the integrity of our elections and the enforcement of our criminal laws.”
Prosecutors lightened Gates’ punishment because of his cooperation, and he reached an agreement to serve his sentence on a schedule of his choosing throughout his probation period.
He will also be required to pay a $20,000 fine every month for a period of 20 months and serve 300 hours of community service, the New York Post reported.
“I wish to express to this court that I accept complete responsibility for my actions that have led me here,” Gates said before being sentenced. “I greatly regret the mistakes I have made.”
Mueller hoax snags Trump associates
Mueller did not find Russia collusion, and his probe — invested with so much importance by Democrats — has been mostly forgotten, but several associates of Trump’s nevertheless got caught up in the dragnet.
Some, as in the cases of Gates and Manafort, were penalized for financial crimes, while others pleaded guilty or were convicted for process crimes, like lying to investigators.
Gates was ensnared with Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, for financial crimes stemming from consulting work they did in Ukraine, Fox reported. He cooperated with prosecutors to convict Manafort, who was sentenced to seven years in prison for two separate criminal cases.
It is worth noting that Gates also cooperated in the case against Roger Stone, who was convicted in November for lying to Congress, obstruction and witness tampering. He faces up to 20 years in prison.
Former Trump adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty to making false statements, is also awaiting sentencing in January. Former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos served a brief sentence after pleading guilty to lying to the FBI, and Trump’s former “fixer” Michael Cohen is serving a three-year sentence for a raft of financial crimes.