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Tags: paul manafort | rick gates | prosecutor | defense fund | special counsel | robert mueller

Prosecutor: Manafort Offered Rick Gates Legal Defense Fund to Not Cooperate

an artist sketch shows rick gates testifying against paul manafort
Rick Gates testifies against Paul Manafort. (Dana Verkouteren/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 17 December 2019 03:35 PM EST

A federal prosecutor Tuesday alleged former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort offered his former deputy a legal defense fund if he did not cooperate with the Mueller investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Molly Gaston said during Rick Gates' sentencing hearing Tuesday that the former deputy campaign chairman for President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign provided "extraordinary" assistance to the government during former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election interference despite pressure from Manafort to refuse to cooperate.

"Gaston says Manafort had told Gates a legal defense fund would be available to him if he didn't plead guilty and cooperate with the government," Politico senior reporter Darren Samuelsohn tweeted while covering the hearing.

Politico later reported Manafort pressured Gates to maintain his innocence and relayed an offer to provide financial assistance via a legal defense fund. Gates initially pleaded not guilty, but changed his plea and began cooperating with federal prosecutors in February, 2018. 

Gates testified in the trials of Manafort, who was convicted of tax evasion and bank fraud, and longtime Republican political operative Roger Stone, who was convicted of lying to Congress about his attempts to contact WikiLeaks during the 2016 election. 

Gates was sentenced Tuesday to 45 days of weekend jail time and three years of probation.

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Newsfront
If he did not cooperate with the Mueller investigation, former deputy Rick Gates was offered a legal defense fund by former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, a federal prosecutor alleged Tuesday.
paul manafort, rick gates, prosecutor, defense fund, special counsel, robert mueller
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2019-35-17
Tuesday, 17 December 2019 03:35 PM
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