The Plot Twist (Squeaky Gates)

#DimensionTrump | #WhatTheyVotedFor

Special Counsel Robert Mueller (AP Photo)

This is hard to overlook. Los Angeles Times reports:

A former top aide to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign will plead guilty to fraud-related charges within days—and has made clear to prosecutors that he would testify against Paul J. Manafort Jr., the lawyer-lobbyist who once managed the campaign.

Rick Gates departs U.S. District Court on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, in Washington, D.C. (Alex Brandon/Associated Press)The change of heart by Trump’s former deputy campaign manager, Richard W. Gates III, who had pleaded not guilty after being indicted in October on charges similar to Manafort’s, was described in interviews by people familiar with the case.

“Rick Gates is going to change his plea to guilty,” said a person with direct knowledge of the new developments, adding that the revised plea will be presented in federal court in Washington “within the next few days.”

Caroline Orr, meanwhile, rightly recalls that “Gates was still making regular trips to the White House through at least June 2017”, noting the Daily Beast, circa June last:  

Rick Gates, the longtime lobbying partner of ousted Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, is still making multiple visits to the White House—even though the Trump administration has sought to distance itself from Manafort . . . .

. . . . After leaving the Trump-boosting nonprofit America First Policies in March—as former FBI Director James Comey officially announced an investigation into alleged ties between the Trump campaign team and Russian officials—Gates is now working directly for Tom Barrack, according to eight sources in and around the Trump White House . . . .

. . . . Since the inauguration, Barrack has remained in close contact with the president as one of his top outside advisers, and has visited the president multiple times. Barrack’s name has been floated for senior White House positions, including chief of staff.

And when Barrack stops by to meet Trump in the West Wing, he has brought Gates with him, according to multiple sources familiar with the meeting. Late last week, Barrack was again at the White House, with Gates in tow, two White House officials confirmed.

Split the difference, then: Of coures he did, and then flip a coin between how paranoid can we be and how wrong we can be to leave it be as such; this is, after all, the Trump administration, and if our reason is that nobody could be so stupid, or so blatantly in plain view, about their wrongdoing, we have yet to learn a damn thing about conservatives in general, the Republican Party since the Reagan Awakening and then the end of the Cold War, and President Donald Trump, himself.


Image notes: Top — Special Counsel Robert Mueller (AP Photo)  Right — Rick Gates departs U.S. District Court on Wednesday, 14 February 2018, in Washington. (Alex Brandon/Associated Press)

Orr, Caroline. “Now seems like a good time to remember that former Trump campaign aide/Manafort business partner Rick Gates was still making regular trips to the White House through at least June 2017.” Twitter. 18 February 2018.

Suebsang, Asawin and Gideon Resnick. “Pro-Russian Lobbyist Is Lurking Around the White House”. The Daily Beast. 14 June 2017.

Willman, David. “Former Trump aide Rick Gates to plead guilty; agrees to testify against Manafort, sources say”. Los Angeles Tiems. 18 February 2018.

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