Attorney pleads guilty to lying about interactions with Trump campaign aide


Rick Gates, a former associate of President Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign, is expected to plead guilty and agree to cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the election, several USA media outlets reported on Friday.

The pair were accused of laundering 30 million USA dollars, failing to pay taxes for almost 10 years and using their real estate to fraudulently secure millions of dollars in loans, according to a 32-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Virginia on Thursday.

Gates was accused of defrauding the U.S. of money that he and his business partner, Trump's short-lived campaign manager Paul Manafort, earned from their lobbying work.

In a dramatic escalation of pressure and stakes, special counsel Robert Mueller filed additional criminal charges Thursday against President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman and his business associate.

Manafort resigned as Trump's campaign chairman in August 2016 after The New York Times reported a Ukrainian government corruption probe found Manafort received almost $13 million off the books from a pro-Russian Ukrainian political party. Besides the charges against the Russians, Mueller's team on Tuesday unsealed a guilty plea from a Dutch lawyer who admitted he lied to investigators.

Gates' plea is considered an indication that he may be cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller.

The indictment accuses Manafort of disguising more than $10m in income from Cypriot entities as loans.

Gates, who served as deputy chairman on the Trump campaign and worked on the president's inaugural committee, was also named in an indictment against Alex Van Der Zwaan, who pleaded guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday.

For now, everything Manafort gets charged with Gates is also charged with, since they are co-defendants in a conspiracy case, Reid points out.

Gates told a federal judge that he understood that his potential sentence depended on his cooperation with prosecutors on the charges: conspiracy to commit to defraud the United States and making false statements, CNN reported.

In Thursday's indictments, Manafort and Gates apparently continued hiding their scheme, via offshore accounts in places like Cyprus and the Seychelles, through late 2017.

Prosecutors also said Manafort and Gates obtained more than $20 million in loans by lying about their business income and debts.

Gates, a resident of Richmond, Va., stayed at the Trump campaign and worked on the inaugural committee after Manafort left in August 2016.