Rick Gates, a former top campaign and inaugural official for President Donald Trump, was sentenced Tuesday to 45 days in jail on weekends and three years of probation, winning leniency for the crimes of conspiracy and making a false statement as a result of extensive cooperation with federal prosecutors who have brought charges against other Trump associates.
″ I accept complete responsibility for my actions that have led me here,” Gates told Judge Amy Berman Jackson before she sentenced him in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.
“I greatly regret the mistakes I’ve made and I’ve worked hard to honor my commitment to make amends,” Gates said, as he asked the judge for leniency.
Gates’ relatively light sentence for the charges was expected, even after federal sentencing guidelines suggested a prison term of between 46 to 57 months.
Prosecutors last week told Jackson in a court filing that they supported his request for only probation, given his “extraordinary assistance” to them.
And they noted Tuesday that Gates had resisted pressure from his co-conspirator, longtime Republican lobbyist and ex-Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort, to not cooperate.
“Mr. Gates received pressure from Mr. Manafort not to plead and Mr. Manafort assured that there would be a defense fund if Mr. Gates decided not to plead,” assistant U.S. Attorney Molly Gaston told Jackson.
In addition to jail and probation, Jackson also sentenced Gates to perform 300 hours of community service and to pay a fine of $20,000.
Gates’ cooperation is expected to continue after Tuesday’s sentencing for his crimes, which related to his concealing foreign bank accounts, tax fraud and violating federal law in connection with work done for pro-Russia politicians in Ukraine.
Gates, 47, is a former longtime Republican consultant and business associate of Manafort.
Both Gates and Manafort were criminally charged with financial crimes related to their consulting work for the pro-Russia political party in Ukraine, which was performed prior to their roles on the Trump campaign.
Gates pleaded guilty to reduced charges in 2018, and agreed to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.
Court filings reveal that Gates met with Mueller’s team, and with members of other federal prosecutors’ office, at least 50 times, for more than 500 hours.
“Gates has worked earnestly to provide the government with everything it has asked of him,” prosecutors wrote in their filing last week.
He later testified at Manafort’s trial in 2018, and at the trial of Trump friend Roger Stone earlier this year. Both Manafort and Stone were convicted.
Manafort is serving a seven-and-half year prison sentence for multiple crimes. Stone is awaiting sentencing for lying to Congress and witness tampering.
On Monday, another federal judge in Washington, Emmet Sullivan, said he will sentence Trump’s former national security advisor Michael Flynn for his crime of lying to FBI agents on Jan. 28.
Flynn, who only briefly served in the Trump administration, had lied to the agents about the nature of his conversations with Russia’s ambassador to the United States in the weeks before Trump’s inauguration in early 2017. Flynn pleaded guilty two years ago.