Richard W. Gates III (born 1972) is an American political consultant and lobbyist. He is a longtime business associate of Paul Manafort and served as deputy to Manafort when the latter was campaign manager of the Donald Trump presidential campaign in 2016. He and Manafort were indicted in October 2017 on charges related to their consulting work with political figures in Ukraine.
Gates is the son of Richard W. Gates, Jr., a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel who is the founder and chief executive officer of the Gates Group International, a management and information technology firm based in Prince George County, Virginia. While growing up as an Army brat Gates lived on multiple U.S. military installations in the US and overseas. He graduated from Prince George High School and is a 1994 graduate of the College of William & Mary with a degree in government. Later he earned a master's degree in public policy from George Washington University.
Early in his career, Gates was an intern at the Washington, D.C. consulting firm Black, Manafort, Stone and Kelly. There he worked with Republican lobbyist Rick Davis, eventually going to work for him and Manafort in 2006 at their new consulting firm Davis Manafort, with an office in Kiev, Ukraine. Among the clients Gates worked with were Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych and Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, taking over this work when Davis left the firm in 2008 to work on the presidential campaign of John McCain. Together, they were instrumental in brokering a meeting between McCain and Deripaska in 2006.
In June 2016, Donald Trump hired Manafort to manage his campaign for president, and Gates went to work for Manafort. Gates handled the day-to-day activities of the campaign. He took responsibility for apparent plagiarism during Melania Trump's speech at the Republican National Convention. Gates stayed with the campaign after Manafort was forced out, and then went to work as a fundraiser for the Republican National Committee and the Donald Trump Inaugural Committee. He then helped to form a pro-Trump nonprofit group called America First Policies, but was removed from the organization due to his involvement with Manafort's overseas ventures.
On October 27, 2017, Gates and Manafort were indicted by a federal grand jury as part of the Special Counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections and related matters. The twelve-count indictment charges the two men 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. The charges arise from his consulting work for a pro-Russian government in Ukraine and are unrelated to the Trump campaign.
Manafort and Gates both surrendered to the FBI on October 30, 2017, and at a court hearing both entered pleas of not guilty.
While awaiting trial, Manafort was released on $10 million bond and Gates was released on $5 million bond. Prosecutors described them as flight risks, and as a condition of pretrial release, both men surrendered their passports and were placed under house arrest.
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Judge Amy Berman Jackson issued an order on December 22, 2017 demanding that Gates explain why his comments in a brief, videotaped address to the fundraiser held in an Arlington, Va., Holiday Inn, on December 19, did not amount to a violation of the gag order she issued in the case. Of particular concern to Jackson is Gates' involvement with the eccentric Washington-area lobbyist who organized the event, Jack Burkman.