WASHINGTON (CN) – A federal judge on Thursday approved a request from attorneys for former Trump campaign aide charged in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe to be severed from his case.
The former Trump aide, Rick Gates, was charged in October along with former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort with conspiracy and money laundering and failing to register as a foreign agent working on behalf of the Ukrainian government. Both men pleaded not guilty and were placed under house arrest pending trial.
On Thursday, Mueller’s team filed a superseding indictment against the two men in federal court in Virginia accusing them of tax and bank fraud.
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson then entered an order terminating Gates’ attorneys, Shanlon Wu, Walter Mack and Annemarie McAvoy, from his counsel.
In a filing, the attorneys had said they had “irreconcilable differences” and could no longer represent him.
The judge then appointed prominent Washington D.C. attorney and former prosecutor Thomas Green to step in as counsel.
Green has been involved in a number of high-profile cases involving political figures, most recently
leading the legal defense of House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who was sentenced in 2016 to 15 months for payoffs made to cover up sex abuse allegations.
Gates did not oppose Green being named as his counsel.
Green represented former assistant attorney general Robert Mardian during the Watergate scandal.
His lengthy resume includes defending government officials involved with the Whitewater investigation, a 1992 probe into real estate investments involving former President Bill Clinton and then First Lady Hillary Clinton; retired Major General Richard Secord during the Iran-Contra investigation; and Michigan Senator Donald Riegle Jr., one of the lawmakers at the center of the 1991 Senate Ethics Committee Keating Five investigation.
Riegle and four other senators – including Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. – stood accused of interfering in the investigation of Charles Keating Jr., chairman of the Lincoln Savings and Loan Association. All of the officials were eventually cleared of acting unlawfully.