Donald Trump's Lawyers Are Terrified About What Rick Gates Might Tell Mueller: Report
Rick Gates reached a plea agreement last month with special counsel Robert Mueller in exchange for his cooperation for the Russia probe — which has set off panic in the White House and on President Donald Trump’s legal team.
It’s nearly certain that Gates will sell out his longtime business partner Paul Manafort, who served much of 2016 as Trump’s campaign manager, and the president’s legal team worries both men could turn on Trump, reported Politico.
“They’ve been very concerned about it,” said a defense attorney working on the Russia case. “It’s something they’re worried about.”
The 45-year-old Gates spent more time on the campaign than Manafort, who was pushed out in August 2016 over his longstanding ties to Russia, and he continued working with Trump through the transition and the early days of his administration.
“He saw everything,” said a Republican consultant who worked with Gates during the campaign.
The consultant put Gates in the “top five” insiders who Mueller could flip, and he lacks the family or political loyalty that some witnesses might hold.
“Let’s be honest, Don Jr. is not ratting out his dad,” said Paul Rosenzweig, who served as a senior counsel to Whitewater independent counsel Ken Starr. “Gates is different.”
The plea agreement likely allows Gates to limit his sentence to six years, but it comes at a cost of delivering his longtime business patron and others in the Trump orbit.
“He’s their b*tch,” said Solomon Wisenberg, a former Starr deputy.