Mike Baehr / Flickr paul manafort illustration...
Mike Baehr / Flickr

CNN states that adding a lawyer with expertise in white-collar pleas is a sign that Robert Mueller is doing a deal with Rick Gates, Paul Manafort’s business partner and Trump campaign cohort.

As deputy campaign manager, Gates could corroborate much of what Manafort was doing in #TrumpRussia as well as the mutual aid between the RNC and those darn Russians.

Divergent interests between long-term business partners, Gates and Manafort, could leverage some deal for Manafort eventually, but considering all the entanglements, he would have to betray Major Mango.

It would be the more amusing irony if Gates, as a member of the Transition Committee, knows how the hush money got allocated to Stormy Daniels out of Inaugural or Campaign funds.

It also helps explain a more unhinged Lord Dampnut tweet this evening at around the same time…

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(New lawyer Tom) Green’s involvement suggests that there is an ongoing negotiation between the defendant’s team and the prosecutors. At this stage, with Gates’ charges filed and bail set, talks could concern the charges and Gates’ plea. The defense and prosecution are currently working together on discovery of evidence.

[…]

Gates pleaded not guilty in October to eight charges of money laundering and failing to register foreign lobbying and other business. His longtime business partner, former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, pleaded not guilty to nine counts in the same case as Gates.
For months, court-watchers — including Gates’ own attorneys — have anticipated additional charges against the defendants. Superseding indictments, which would add or replace charges against both Gates and Manafort, have been prepared, according to a source close to the investigation. No additional charges have been filed so far. When there is a delay in filing charges after they’ve been prepared, it can indicate that negotiations of some nature are ongoing.
[…]

Manafort and Gates were also in charge during the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, where a handful of Trump campaign advisers met with then-Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak and a group of campaign aides controversially changed the Republican Party platform regarding Ukraine.

[…]

The charging documents against Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos revealed that Papadopoulos emailed Manafort about his contacts with government-connected Russians and that the Russians were “open for cooperation” and wanted an opportunity to meet Donald Trump. Manafort forwarded the message to Gates and said, “Let’s discuss. We need someone to communicate that (Trump) is not doing these trips. It should be someone low level in the campaign so as not to send any signal.”

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