Rick Gates (political consultant)

Rick Gates
Born Richard W. Gates III
(1972-04-27) April 27, 1972 (age 46)
Nationality United States of America
Education College of William and Mary (BA)
George Washington University (MPP)
Political party Republican
Criminal charge conspiracy against the United States and making false statements in 2017 Special Counsel investigation
Criminal status pleaded guilty

Richard W. Gates III (born April 27, 1972) is an American former political consultant and lobbyist who has pleaded guilty to conspiracy against the United States and making false statements.[1] 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.[2]

Gates and Manafort were both indicted in October 2017 on charges related to their consulting work with pro-Russian political figures in Ukraine.[2] Additional charges were filed in District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on February 21, 2018, however these charges were withdrawn on February 27, 2018, without prejudice, as agreed to in his plea bargain with Robert S. Mueller III.[3]

Early life and education[]

Gates is the son of Richard W. Gates, Jr., a retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel, who is the founder and CEO of the Gates Group International, a management and information technology firm based in Prince George County, Virginia. An Army brat, Gates lived on multiple military installations in the U.S. and overseas as a boy. His family finally settled in Prince George County near Fort Lee, where his father was stationed in the late 1980s.[4] He graduated from Prince George High School (1990) and the College of William & Mary (1994) with a degree in Government.[4] Later, he earned a Master of Public Policy degree from George Washington University.[5]


Early in his career, Gates was an intern at the Washington, D.C., consulting firm Black, Manafort, Stone and Kelly.[1] 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.[1] 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.[1] Together, they were instrumental in brokering a meeting between McCain and Deripaska in 2006.[6][7]

In June 2016, when Donald Trump promoted Manafort to the post of campaign manager, Gates went to work for and became the campaign's number two, handling the day-to-day activities of the campaign including taking responsibility for apparent plagiarism in Melania Trump's speech at the Republican National Convention. Gates stayed on as number two in the campaign after Manafort was forced out, and then went to work as deputy chairman of the Donald Trump Inaugural Committee. He 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.[8]

Indictment and arrest[]

Grand jury indictment against Manafort and Gates, unsealed October 30, 2017
Gates' superseding indictment in the Eastern District of Virginia
Rick Gates felony information

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.[9][2] 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.[9] The charges arise from his consulting work for a pro-Russian government in Ukraine and are unrelated to the Trump campaign.[10]

Manafort and Gates surrendered to the FBI on October 30, 2017, and at a court hearing both chose to plead not guilty.[11]

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.[12][13]

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.[14]

On January 23, 2018, CNN reported that Gates had added prominent white-collar attorney Tom Green to his defense team. The action could relate to a change in strategy, e.g. from a flat not-guilty plea to some kind of cooperation with prosecutors.[15] On February 22, The Daily Beast reported that Gates fired Green, but later corrected its story.[16][17]

On February 7, 2018, three Gates' attorneys cited 'irreconcilable differences' with client in court hearing with Judge Amy Berman Jackson in their motion to withdraw as Gates’ counsel.[18]

On February 15, 2018, CNN reported that Gates had begun finalizing a plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller's office, indicating he was poised to cooperate in the special counsel's investigation, as he had undergone his "Queen for a Day" interview, in which he answered any and all questions from the special counsel's team, including about his own case and other potential criminal activity he witnessed or participated in, with the only stipulation being that he could not lie.[19] During this proffer session interview, on February 1, Gates lied to FBI investigators, and this false statement made by Gates was incorporated into the plea bargain that he subsequently entered into.[3]

On February 22, 2018, Mueller revealed new charges in the Manafort and Gates case,[20][21] filed on February 21.[22] Unlike previous indictments, the superseding indictment was issued by a federal grand jury in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, and contains 32 counts: 16 counts 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.[23]

On February 23, 2018, Gates pleaded guilty to one count of false statements and one count of conspiracy against the United States.[3] The plea bargain included an agreement to cooperate with the Mueller investigation.[24] Federal guidelines suggest Gates will face a sentence of 57 to 71 months, but these are only advisory and are subject to discretion.[25] A status report with regard to sentencing was scheduled for May 14, 2018.[26]

See also[]


  1. ^ a b c d Confessore, Nicholas; Meier, Barry (June 16, 2017). "How the Russia Investigation Entangled a Manafort Protégé". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 30, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c Perez, Evan; Herb, Jeremy (October 30, 2017). "Manafort, Gates charged with conspiracy against US". CNN. Retrieved October 30, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c Breuninger, Kevin (2018-02-23). "Former Trump campaign official Rick Gates pleads guilty to lying and conspiracy against the US". CNBC. Retrieved 2018-02-23. 
  4. ^ a b "Rick Gates, indicted in Trump-Russia probe, owns home in Richmond". WRIC. October 30, 2017. Retrieved 31 October 2017. 
  5. ^ DePompa, Rachel (October 30, 2017). "Manafort's former business partner has home in Richmond". WWBT. Retrieved 31 October 2017. 
  6. ^ Birnbaum, Jeffrey H.; Solomon, John (January 25, 2008). "Aide Helped Controversial Russian Meet McCain". ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved October 30, 2017. 
  7. ^ Jacobs, Ben (October 30, 2017). "Who is Rick Gates, Manafort's right-hand man and alleged partner in crime?". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved October 30, 2017. 
  8. ^ Choma, Russ (October 30, 2017). "Who Is Rick Gates?". Mother Jones. Retrieved October 30, 2017. 
  9. ^ a b United States of America v. Paul J. Manafort Jr and Richard W. Gates III (October 27, 2017). Text
  10. ^ Savage, Charlie (October 30, 2017). "What It Means: The Indictment of Manafort and Gates". The New York Times. Retrieved October 30, 2017. 
  11. ^ Apuzzo, Matt; Goldman, Adam; Schmidt, Michael S.; Rosenberg, Matthew (October 30, 2017). "Former Trump Aides Charged as Prosecutors Reveal New Campaign Ties With Russia". The New York Times. Retrieved October 30, 2017. 
  12. ^ Halper, Evan (October 30, 2017). "$10 million bond for ex-Trump chairman Paul Manafort after not guilty plea in Russia probe". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 30, 2017. 
  13. ^ Harris, Andrew M. (October 30, 2017). "Manafort, Gates Placed Under House Arrest After Not Guilty Pleas". Bloomberg. Retrieved October 30, 2017. 
  14. ^ "Judge irked by Gates legal defense fundraiser". POLITICO. Retrieved 2017-12-23. 
  15. ^ Polantz, Katelyn (January 23, 2018). "Gates may be negotiating with Mueller's team". CNN. Retrieved January 24, 2018. 
  16. ^ Woodruff, Betsy (February 22, 2018). "Ex-Trump Staffer Rick Gates to Plead Guilty in Russia Probe". The Daily Beast. Retrieved June 8, 2018. 
  17. ^ Delk, Josh (February 22, 2018). "CORRECTED: ABC reports Gates has retained veteran DC lawyer". The Hill. Retrieved June 8, 2018. 
  18. ^ Gerstein, Josh (February 7, 2018). "Judge holds hearing on Gates' lawyers request to exit case". Politico. Retrieved 2018-02-08. 
  19. ^ Polantz, Katelyn; Murray, Sara (February 15, 2018). "A top Trump campaign adviser close to plea deal with Mueller". CNN. Retrieved February 16, 2018. 
  20. ^ Polantz, Katelyn (2018-02-17). "Special counsel court filing reveals new bank fraud allegations against Manafort". CNN. Retrieved 2018-02-17. 
  21. ^ Polantz, Katelyn; Murray, Sara (February 15, 2018). "A top Trump campaign adviser close to plea deal with Mueller". CNN. Retrieved February 17, 2018. 
  22. ^ Gerstein, Josh. "New charges filed in Manafort-Gates case". POLITICO. Retrieved February 21, 2018. 
  23. ^ Barrett, Devlin; Hsu, Spencer S. (February 22, 2018). "Special counsel Mueller files new charges in Manafort, Gates case". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 22, 2018. 
  24. ^ Former Trump aide tells loved ones of plans to plead guilty, cooperate with special counsel. John Santucci and Matthew Mosk, ABC News, 23 February 2018
  25. ^ "Ex-Trump Aide Rick Gates Plea Hearing". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2018-02-23. 
  26. ^ "Special Counsel's Office | Department of Justice". www.justice.gov. Retrieved 2018-02-24. 

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