Rick Gates’ Guilty Plea Proves Donald Trump’s Conspiracy With Russia. We Explain. (VIDEO)
Washington (CNN)Former Donald Trump campaign official Rick Gates will plead guilty to two criminal charges in special counsel Robert Mueller’s wide-ranging investigation of Russian meddling into the 2016 presidential campaign and related activities.
His arraignment is scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday.
Gates is now the third Trump associate known to be working with Mueller’s investigation, and his plea deal will put the spotlight on former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. Prosecutors are trying to pressure Manafort to speak with prosecutors about what he knows, particularly about the campaign.
Gates was Manafort’s right-hand man for a decade, was privy to most, if not all, of Manafort’s activities during the campaign and stayed in the Trump orbit after Manafort’s exit. Manafort has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him.
The charges Gates is expected to plead to are conspiracy to commit to defraud the United States and making false statements.
As Paul Manafort’s close personal friend and business associate, Gates will be able to walk the government through the thicket of money transfers and influence peddling Manafort provided to the government of the Ukraine and its now deposed leader, who is currently living in exile in Russia.
As a cooperating witness, Rick Gates will also shed light on the Trump campaign’s single change to the Republican platform at the GOP Convention in 2016, in which they reduced their commitment to Ukrainian rebels, which would have no doubt pleased the Kremlin.
Watch the video above for more!