Rick Gates (political consultant)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Rick Gates
Richard William Gates III

(1972-04-27) April 27, 1972 (age 51)
EducationCollege of William and Mary (BA)
George Washington University (MPP)
Political partyRepublican
Criminal chargeConspiracy against the United States for making false statements in the 2017 Special Counsel investigation
Criminal penalty45 days' imprisonment, 300 hours' community service, $20,000 fine
Sarah Garnett
(m. 1995)

Richard William Gates III[1] (born April 27, 1972) is an American former political consultant and lobbyist who pleaded guilty to conspiracy against the United States for making false statements in the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections.[2] 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, and after under Kellyanne Conway.[3]

Gates and Manafort were both indicted in October 2017 on charges related to their consultation work with pro-Russian political figures in Ukraine.[3] 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were filed in District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on February 21, 2018, however these charges were withdrawn on February 27, 2018, without prejudice, as agreed to in his plea bargain with Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III.[4] On December 17, 2019, Gates was sentenced to 45 days' jail and three years of probation.[5]

Early life[edit]

Gates is the son of retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Richard W. Gates Jr., who is also 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 was born in Fort Lee, Virginia, and lived on several military installations in Kentucky, North Carolina, and Germany as a boy, before his family settled in Prince George, Virginia.[6][7] After graduating from Prince George High School in 1990, Gates attended the College of William & Mary, earning a degree in government in 1994. Gates was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity in college.[8] Later, he earned a Master of Public Policy degree from George Washington University.[9]


Early in his career, Gates was appointed to the first class of the Falls Church Fellows program at the Falls Church Anglican, during which he also worked as an intern at the Washington, D.C., consulting firm Black, Manafort, Stone and Kelly.[2] There, he worked with Republican lobbyist Rick Davis, eventually going to work for the two business partners in 2006 at their new consulting firm, Davis Manafort, with an office in Kyiv, Ukraine.[2] 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.[2] Together, they were instrumental in brokering a meeting between McCain and Deripaska in 2006.[10][11]

In June 2016, when Donald Trump promoted Manafort to the post of campaign manager, Gates worked as Manafort's deputy 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 under Steve Bannon after Manafort was forced to resign, and then worked 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 after his involvement with Manafort's overseas ventures was exposed.[12]

After his sentencing, Gates went on to publish a memoir titled Wicked Game: An Insider’s Story on How Trump Won, Mueller Failed, and America Lost.[13] He also founded a political consulting company called Tungsten LLC.[13]

Russia investigation[edit]

Indictment and arrest[edit]

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

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.[14][3] The twelve-count indictment charged 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.[14] The charges arose from his work as a consultant for a pro-Russian government in Ukraine and is related to the Trump campaign.[15]

Manafort and Gates surrendered to the FBI on October 30, 2017, and at a court hearing both chose to plead not guilty.[16]

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.[17][18]

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's involvement with the eccentric Washington-area lobbyist who organized the event, Jack Burkman.[19]

On January 23, 2018, CNN reported that Gates had added 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.[20] On February 22, The Daily Beast reported that Gates fired Green, but later corrected its story.[21][22]

On February 7, 2018, three of Gates's attorneys cited "irreconcilable differences" with their client in court hearing with Judge Amy Berman Jackson in their motion to withdraw as Gates's counsel.[23]

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.[24] 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.[4]

On February 22, 2018, Mueller revealed new charges in the Manafort and Gates case,[25][24] filed on February 21.[26] Unlike previous indictments, the superseding indictment was issued by a federal grand jury in the U.S. 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.[27]

On February 23, 2018, Gates pleaded guilty to one count of false statements and one count of conspiracy against the United States.[4] The plea bargain included an agreement to cooperate with the Mueller investigation.[28] Federal guidelines suggested that Gates would face a sentence of 57 to 71 months.[29] His sentencing date was postponed on multiple occasions, with a March 2019 court filing requesting another sixty day extension, stating Gates "continues to cooperate with respect to several ongoing investigations," suggesting that his cooperation extended beyond matters involving Manafort, who had already been convicted in two courts by that time.[30] On May 13, 2019, prosecutors asked for another extension until August 30, stating that Gates continues to cooperate and referencing the pending trials of Roger Stone and Gregory Craig.[31][32] He was sentenced in December 2019 to 45 days in jail and three years of probation, though the sentence was suspended in April 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[33]

Gates was sued by his former attorneys, of Doar Rieck Kaley & Mack, for $368,525.34 in unpaid legal fees.[34][35]

Manafort trials[edit]

Gates, who struck a plea deal with Federal prosecutors including an agreement to testify against Manafort, became the government's star witness during Manafort's trial. Manafort was convicted of 8 counts of tax and bank fraud.[36] During the trial, Gates testified that he and Manafort carried out 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 United Kingdom to funnel millions of dollars from their political consulting work in Ukraine.[37] Gates said he concealed the accounts and the income from U.S. tax authorities by disguising the income as loans with falsified bank loan documents. Gates also testified that he embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars from Manafort,[37] and funded an expensive extramarital relationship with money embezzled from Manafort.[38]

In a February 7, 2019, hearing, prosecutors speculated that Manafort had concealed facts about his activities to enhance the possibility of his receiving a pardon. They said that Manafort's work with Ukraine had continued after he had made his plea deal and that during the Trump campaign, he met with Gates and Konstantin Kilimnik, in an exclusive New York cigar bar. Gates said the three left the premises separately, each using different exits. Kilimnik was indicted by Mueller.[39]

According to prosecutors in the special counsel's office, Gates continued to provide information relevant to multiple "ongoing investigations" after the conclusion of Manafort's federal case in March 2019, and Gates's sentencing has been delayed while that cooperation continues.[40]

Deripaska lawsuits[edit]

Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska has sued Paul Manafort and Rick Gates for more than $25 million in damages over business deals involving his companies. The complaint filed in a New York state court in 2018 alleges that Manafort and Gates bilked his companies out of millions of dollars given to them to invest.[41] The lawsuit relies, in part, on allegations that were outlined in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's indictments against Manafort and Gates. Deripaska has also made similar claims in previous legal complaints filed against Manafort and Gates 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 then failing to account for the funds or return them.[42]

Roger Stone trial[edit]

On November 12, 2019, Gates testified in the criminal trial of Roger Stone, stating that he witnessed a call between Donald Trump and Stone related to the WikiLeaks website in late July 2016. Although he could not hear what was said, within 30 seconds or so of Trump hanging up, Trump said that "more information would be coming," in an apparent reference to WikiLeaks.[43] 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.[44]


In December 2019, Federal prosecutors 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."[45][46]

On December 17, 2019, Gates was sentenced to three years of probation, 45 days in jail, and 300 hours of community service. He was also ordered to pay a $20,000 fine.[47] The judge took into account years of financial crimes and deception that continued even after he had agreed to plead guilty and cooperate. Gates accepted responsibility and said "I greatly regret the mistakes I have made." before being sentenced.[48]

In April 2020, a U.S. District Judge granted a request for Gates to finish his 45 day sentence at home due to the risk of his wife, who had cancer, contracting the coronavirus if he stayed in jail.[49][50]

Personal life[edit]

In 1995, Gates married Sarah Garnett. They have four children.[1][8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Garnett-Gates" (PDF). The Hopewell News. June 19, 1995. p. 4. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 27, 2017. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ a b c Perez, Evan; Herb, Jeremy (October 30, 2017). "Manafort, Gates charged with conspiracy against US". CNN. Retrieved October 30, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c Breuninger, Kevin (February 23, 2018). "Former Trump campaign official Rick Gates pleads guilty to lying and conspiracy against the US". CNBC. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
  5. ^ "Ex-Trump campaign official Rick Gates sentenced to 45 days in jail". Los Angeles Times. December 17, 2019.
  6. ^ Peoples, Steve; Horwitz, Jeff (November 2, 2017). "Rick Gates: A Trump survivor is tested by Mueller probe". Associated Press. Retrieved August 20, 2018.
  7. ^ "Sisisky nominates students considered for academies" (PDF). The Hopewell News. March 5, 1990. p. 7. Retrieved August 21, 2018.[dead link]
  8. ^ a b "Rick Gates, indicted in Trump-Russia probe, owns home in Richmond". WRIC. October 30, 2017. Archived from the original on March 9, 2018. Retrieved October 31, 2017.
  9. ^ DePompa, Rachel (October 30, 2017). "Manafort's former business partner has home in Richmond". WWBT. Retrieved October 31, 2017.
  10. ^ Birnbaum, Jeffrey H.; Solomon, John (January 25, 2008). "Aide Helped Controversial Russian Meet McCain". The Washington Post and Times-Herald. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved October 30, 2017.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ Choma, Russ (October 30, 2017). "Who Is Rick Gates?". Mother Jones. Retrieved October 30, 2017.
  13. ^ a b Lippman, Daniel (October 28, 2020). "Rick Gates, who flipped on Trump in Russia probe, seeks redemption". Politico.
  14. ^ a b United States of America v. Paul J. Manafort Jr and Richard W. Gates III (October 27, 2017), Text.
  15. ^ Savage, Charlie (October 30, 2017). "What It Means: The Indictment of Manafort and Gates". The New York Times. Retrieved October 30, 2017.
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ Harris, Andrew M. (October 30, 2017). "Manafort, Gates Placed Under House Arrest After Not Guilty Pleas". Bloomberg. Retrieved October 30, 2017.
  19. ^ "Judge irked by Gates legal defense fundraiser". POLITICO. Retrieved December 23, 2017.
  20. ^ Polantz, Katelyn (January 23, 2018). "Gates may be negotiating with Mueller's team". CNN. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
  21. ^ Woodruff, Betsy (February 22, 2018). "Ex-Trump Staffer Rick Gates to Plead Guilty in Russia Probe". The Daily Beast. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
  22. ^ Delk, Josh (February 22, 2018). "CORRECTED: ABC reports Gates has retained veteran DC lawyer". The Hill. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
  23. ^ Gerstein, Josh (February 7, 2018). "Judge holds hearing on Gates' lawyers request to exit case". Politico. Retrieved February 8, 2018.
  24. ^ a b Polantz, Katelyn; Murray, Sara (February 15, 2018). "A top Trump campaign adviser close to plea deal with Mueller". CNN. Retrieved February 16, 2018.
  25. ^ Polantz, Katelyn (February 17, 2018). "Special counsel court filing reveals new bank fraud allegations against Manafort". CNN. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
  26. ^ Gerstein, Josh. "New charges filed in Manafort-Gates case". POLITICO. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  27. ^ 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.
  28. ^ 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
  29. ^ "Ex-Trump Aide Rick Gates Plea Hearing". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
  30. ^ "Rick Gates continues to cooperate in 'several ongoing' investigations and is not ready for sentencing". The Washington Post.
  31. ^ Samuelsohn, Darren (May 13, 2019). "Gates may testify in Roger Stone, Greg Craig trials". POLITICO.
  32. ^ Samuelsohn, Darren (May 13, 2019). "NEW: Rick Gates "continues to cooperate with the government" as part of his plea deal and isn't yet ready for sentencing, DOJ and Gates' attorneys say in a joint status report filed today. It looks like he could testify in trials involving Greg Craig and Roger Stone too. Story TK.pic.twitter.com/yzP1o3zPYL".
  33. ^ Hsu, Spencer S. "Judge suspends 45-day prison term for former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates, citing coronavirus". The Washington Post.
  34. ^ Griffiths, Brent D.; Gerstein, Josh (October 10, 2018). "Former Rick Gates attorneys sue him for $369,000 in unpaid bills". Politico.
  35. ^ Siegel, Joel A. (October 10, 2018). "Case 1:18-cv-09282 Document 1". Politico.
  36. ^ "Manafort defense questions star witness Gates about 'secret life'". Reuters. August 7, 2018. Retrieved August 16, 2018.
  37. ^ a b Day, Chad (August 9, 2018). "Gates admits crimes with - and embezzlement from - Manafort". Associated Press News. Retrieved August 15, 2018.
  38. ^ "Rick Gates, testifying in Manafort trial, admits to affair, London apartment". NBC News. August 7, 2018. Retrieved August 15, 2018.
  39. ^ Manafort continued Ukraine work in 2018, prosecutors say, The Washington Post, Spencer S. Hsu, Rosalind S. Helderman, and Matt Zapotosky, February 7, 2019. Retrieved February 8, 2019.
  40. ^ Prokop, Andrew (March 15, 2019). "Top Mueller cooperator Rick Gates continues to cooperate with several investigations". Vox. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
  41. ^ "Paul Manafort has a new legal headache. A Russian oligarch is suing him". NBC News. January 10, 2018.
  42. ^ "Analysis | Manafort's Russia connection: What you need to know about Oleg Deripaska". The Washington Post.
  43. ^ "Trump campaign wanted updates on 2016 WikiLeaks releases on Clinton: ex-aide testifies". Reuters. November 13, 2019. Retrieved November 13, 2019.
  44. ^ Mangan, Dan; Breuninger, Kevin (November 15, 2019). "Trump ally Roger Stone found guilty of lying to Congress, witness tampering". CNBC. Retrieved November 15, 2019.
  45. ^ Mangan, Dan (December 10, 2019). "Prosecutors support probation for ex-Trump campaign official Rick Gates, who helped Mueller probe". CNBC. Retrieved December 17, 2019.
  46. ^ "Trump ex-campaign aide Gates to be sentenced after helping prosecutors". Reuters. December 17, 2019. Retrieved December 17, 2019.
  47. ^ Rawnsley, Jamie Ross|Adam (December 17, 2019). "Rick Gates Sentenced to Three Years of Probation, 45 Days in Jail". Retrieved December 17, 2019.
  48. ^ "Rick Gates: ex-Trump aide sentenced to 45 days in prison for lying to FBI". The Guardian. December 17, 2019. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved December 17, 2019.
  49. ^ "Judge suspends 45-day prison term for former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates, citing coronavirus". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved May 3, 2023.
  50. ^ Gerstein, Josh (April 19, 2020). "Rick Gates asks to serve sentence at home". POLITICO. Retrieved May 3, 2023.

External links[edit]