Last week, former Trump campaign advisor Rick Gates pleaded guilty to charges of financial fraud and lying to investigators while agreeing to cooperate with the Special Counsel Robert Mueller in the Russia probe. The deal came after additional charges were filed against Gates and ex-Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort. Both Manafort and Gates were originally indicted last October, with both then pleading not guilty.
During an appearance on ABC’s This Week, ABC News chief legal analyst — and Mediate founder — Dan Abrams noted that Gates’ plea deal would seem to indicate that the government feels Gates can give them something.
“The reason the government they are eliminating an enormous amount of counts against these various people is because they believe they have something to offer them,” Abrams stated. “Something beyond what we already know.”
After bringing up the fact that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has also worked out a deal with the special counsel and asking why Flynn would do so, Abrams brought up Manafort as it relates to Gates. And how Gates may not even be used to strengthen the case against Manafort.
“The people that think this is just about Manafort are missing the point,” he said. “The kinds of crimes Manafort is charged with sort of banking crimes, tax evasion crimes — these are document-heavy crimes. Meaning, there’s a lot of evidence there. You don’t really need Gates to be able to prove the Manafort case.”
Host George Stephanopoulos wondered aloud if Abrams meant Gates was giving someone else up, leading Abrams to say that Gates may certainly help with the Manafort case but for the government to make a deal “there has to be something more here.”
Watch the clip above, via ABC News.
[image via screengrab]
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