Sentencing in the Works for Rick Gates, Early Mueller Probe Figure

WASHINGTON (CN) — A year and a half after the plea deal from Rick Gates helped convict former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, a federal judge indicated Friday that the former lobbyist is finally ready for sentencing.

Rick Gates arrives at federal court in Washington on Feb. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson issued the order this morning in response to the government’s Thursday night request to begin the investigation report that precedes a final sentence. 

“The defendant wishes to be sentenced as soon as possible after the completion of his cooperation with the United States,” the motion states. “The government has no objection to scheduling a sentencing date after the aforementioned trials are finished and defendant’s cooperation has been completed.”

Jackson told the government to submit that report by Nov. 15, just 10 days into the expected trial of Trump confidante Roger Stone.

A year after his plea bargain led to Manafort’s conviction on tax and bank fraud, 47-year-old Gates has stood in the wings as a potential government witness against Stone and former White House counsel Gregory Craig later this month. 

Manafort, who is serving 7 1/2 years in federal prison for Virginia and  Washington convictions, is also set to face a state trial next year in New York. The district attorney in that case has advised Gates he may be called to testify at those proceedings.

Gates was first indicted alongside Manafort by special counsel Robert Mueller in 2017. Charged with money laundering, conspiracy and failing to register as foreign agents, theirs was the first criminal case to emerge from Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

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