Judge Frees Ex-Trump Aide Gates From GPS Monitoring

WASHINGTON (CN) – A federal judge agreed Monday to free former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates from GPS monitoring and a nightly curfew.

Gates, 46, will also be allowed to travel freely between the Eastern District of Virginia and Washington, D.C., without the court’s permission.

The order from U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson came in response to a motion from Gates on Friday to modify the conditions of his release.

Jackson had previously denied a similar motion, but said the court was better positioned to grant the requested relief now.

“The Court now has the benefit of additional information, including defendant’s record of ongoing cooperation with the government, his testimony at the trial in the Eastern District of Virginia under difficult circumstances, as well as his compliance with all of the travel conditions to date,” the 2-page order says.

Calling himself “a model cooperating witness,” Gates had asked Jackson for leniency on Thursday while he awaits sentencing.

Gates pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of lying to the FBI as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian election meddling, and whether the Trump campaign conspired with the Kremlin’s effort to sway the presidential election in his favor.

Gates, who worked on Trump’s inaugural committee and held a senior position in the Trump campaign, was indicted last October alongside former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort for their unregistered lobbying work on behalf of a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine.

Gates, who agreed to cooperate with Mueller’s probe in February, noted in his Oct. 11 motion that it had been difficult to testify against his former business partner in August during a trial in Virginia.

That jury convicted Manafort of financial crimes related to their lobbying work, including bank and tax fraud.

Manafort has since agreed to cooperate with Mueller’s investigation, heading off a second criminal trial in Washington last month.

In his quest for leniency, Gates also told the court that removing the GPS monitoring, the 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew and expanding his travel radius would allow his family to move forward in “the process of healing.”

Gates asserted that the consequences would be severe should he violate the terms of his plea deal, and assured the court he would continue to make all court appearances.

Gates continues to meet and cooperate with Mueller’s team to provide additional information to the government.

Jackson said Gates must continue to live at his current address and report to pretrial services weekly, as well as allow monthly home inspections until he is sentenced.

There is currently no sentencing date scheduled for Gates.

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