RICK GATES

What a smarmy asshole.

Unctuous in fact.

He wrote a book and so what?

He shaved his beard and so what?

He worked for Trump.

He pleaded guilty and went to jail.

So what?

Join the gang.

The crowd, m’boy.

As might be asked of you, and all of your cohorts:

HOW DO YOU LIVE WITH YOURSELF?

Think about it, my 48-year-old friend born in the “East Coast of the United States.”

Which, by the way is what exactly?

You will never, ever shake this off.

You are a convicted felon who was shown leniency in return for cooperation, i.e. spillin’ the beans to save your ass.

Essentially you snitched and not because you thought telling the truth was the right thing to do.

Maybe you’ll work again and maybe you’ll make a little dough.

The book.

Ah yes, the book.

Of course.

You are the latest ex-aide in a panoply of former Trump campaign and administration officials to publish their “memoirs.”

Given your proximity to the Trump campaign, and the evidence you provided against two of the president’s closest advisers, Paul Manafort, and Roger Stone, Jr., your book, “Wicked Game,” is likely to generate plenty of interest across the political spectrum.

And beyond.

Cha-ching!!

But each morning, afternoon or evening, when you see that mug gazing back at you in the mirror, you can’t escape.

You are still you.

Sorry.

Richard William Gates III is an American former political consultant and lobbyist who pleaded guilty to conspiracy against the United States and making false statements in the 2017 Special Counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections.

A longtime business associate of the disgraced Manafort, and his deputy when the latter was campaign manager of the Donald Trump presidential campaign in 2016, both Gates and Manafort were indicted on October 27, 2017 on charges related to their consultation work with pro-Russian political figures in Ukraine.

The twelve-count indictment charged the two with conspiracy against the United States, making false statements, money laundering, and failing to register as foreign agents for Ukraine, as required by the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

Additional charges were filed in District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on February 21, 2018, however, they were withdrawn on February 27, 2018 without prejudice, as agreed to in his plea bargain with Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

The story behind the story was that the new charges contained 32 counts: 16 related to false individual income tax returns; seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts; five counts of bank fraud conspiracy; and four counts of bank fraud.

Staring down the barrel of Federal guidelines which suggested that he would face a sentence of 57 to 71 months, on February 23, 2018 Gates pleaded guilty to one count of false statements and one count of conspiracy against the United States.

The plea bargain included an agreement to cooperate with the Mueller investigation.

After much legal wrangling and sentencing date extensions and postponements, finally Gates’ sentence — handed down by U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Judge Amy Berman Jackson on December 17, 2019 — was 45 days’ imprisonment; 300 hours’ community service; three years of probation; and a $20,000 fine.

And Gates was sued by his former attorneys, Doar Rieck Kaley & Mack for $368,524.34 in unpaid legal fees.

He got off easy.

By any measure.

Part of Gates’ plea deal with federal prosecutors included an agreement to testify against Manafort, which made him the star witness at Manafort’s trial.

Manafort was convicted of eight counts of tax and bank fraud.

Hold onto your hat.

During the trial, Gates testified that he and Manafort orchestrated and executed an elaborate offshore tax evasion and bank fraud scheme using offshore shell companies and bank accounts in Cyprus, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and the UK to funnel millions of dollars derived from their political consulting work in Ukraine.

Gates stated that he concealed the accounts and the income from U.S. tax authorities by disguising said income as loans, fortified by falsified bank loan documents.

And the coup de grace?

Gates also testified that he embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars from Manafort and funded an extramarital relationship with a good chunk of this money.

Pardon my naivete, but what kind of human being is this?

The kind who was sued — along with Manafort — by Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska for more than $25 million in damages, stemming from their business dealings with his companies.

The complaint filed in a New York state court in 2018 alleged that Manafort and Gates bilked Deripaska’s companies out of millions of dollars entrusted to them to invest.

Deripaska had made similar claims in previous legal complaints filed against the two in the Cayman Islands in 2014 and in a Virginia state court in 2015, accusing Manafort and Gates of taking $19 million intended for investment and then failing to account for the funds or issue reimbursement.

According to prosecutors in the special counsel’s office, Gates continued to provide relevant information pertinent to multiple “ongoing investigations” after the conclusion of Manafort’s federal case in March 2019.

And while his cooperation continued, his sentencing would be delayed.

To wit:

Gates’ testimony at the criminal trial of Roger Stone on November 12, 2019.

Gates testified that he witnessed a call between Trump and Stone related to the WikiLeaks website.

Although he could not hear what was said (would it not then be argued, that his statements were of negligible value?) he testified that within 30 seconds of Trump hanging up, he heard the president say that “more information would be coming,” in an apparent reference to WikiLeaks.

Three days later on November 15, Stone was found guilty on all seven counts, obstruction of proceedings, five counts of false statements, and one count of witness tampering.

On February 20, 2020 he was sentenced to 40 months in federal prison.

On July 10, 2020 President Trump commuted the sentence.

Somehow or other, federal prosecutors were so grateful to Gates that they said they would not oppose a sentence of probation, citing his “extraordinary assistance” in cases that led to the convictions of associates of President Donald Trump, even after receiving “pressure not to cooperate…including assurances of monetary assistance.”

The fact that years of financial crimes and deception continued after he had agreed to plead guilty and cooperate, factored significantly into the leniency afforded Gates, who feigned remorse when addressing the court, pre-sentencing.

Tacitly but disingenuously accepting responsibility, he said, “I greatly regret the mistakes I have made.”

Paul Manafort.

Michael Flynn.

Michael Cohen.

George Nader.

George Papadopoulos.

Steve Bannon.

Richard Pinedo.

Alex van der Zwaan.

Konstantin Kilimnik.

Roger Stone.

Rick Gates.

In no particular order: arrested, awaiting sentence or convicted of crimes.

What a crew!!!

Will Trump be next?

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