Gates Bids for Slack in Mueller Probe as ‘Model Witness’

WASHINGTON (CN) – Calling himself “a model cooperating witness,” former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates made a push Thursday to await sentencing without GPS monitoring.

Rick Gates, campaign aide to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on July 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Gates, 46, also challenged his 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew, and seeks to expand his travel radius to include Washington, D.C., and the Eastern District of Virginia.

Given the high stakes if Gates violates his agreement to assist in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, Sidley Austin attorney Thomas Green told U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson that she can trust his client.

“The advantages that attach to strict compliance with that agreement, and the extraordinary disincentives to violating that agreement, alone guarantee Mr. Gates’s appearance at any scheduled court proceeding,” he wrote in a 3-page motion to modify the conditions of Gates’ release.

Green also noted that Gates has been complying with the strict bail conditions for over a year.

“On a much more personal note, removing the GPS monitor will contribute to the process of healing in the Gates household which is on-going,” the motion states.

The motion points as well to the frequent meetings between Gates and the special counsel’s team, including during the weeks prior to the Paul Manafort trial.

Gates had been indicted alongside Manafort but agreed to cooperate with Mueller early on. Manafort on the other hand was convicted on numerous charges after a trial in Virginia and agreed to cooperate only on the eve of a second trial in Washington, D.C.

While Manafort served as one of President Donald Trump’s campaign chairs, Gates worked on Trump’s inaugural committee and held a senior position in the Trump campaign. Thursday’s motion discusses how difficult it was for Gates to testify against his former longtime business partner.

“That process was especially painful for Mr. Gates, and much of that pain was anticipated as he took the stand to testify,” the motion says. “But that was part of his bargain with the government, and he accepted the consequences.”

Gates pleaded guilty to one count of lying to federal investigators and one count of conspiracy, in February.

In Thursday’s motion, Gates says his meetings and cooperation with the special counsel are ongoing, and he is continuing to provide additional information to the government.

“In short, Mr. Gates has been a model cooperating witness—making himself available to federal authorities whenever they have requested his assistance,” the motion says.

Given that, Gates said the court can trust that he will continue to make his court appearances, and that he deserves the relief requested.

There is no sentencing date on the horizon yet for Gates.

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