Rick Gates, one of a handful of former advisers to Donald Trump indicted amid the ongoing Russia probe, is reportedly finalizing a plea deal with investigators. Citing sources close to the investigation, CNN reports that Gates has been in talks with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team about a potential plea deal for about a month. During that time, he reportedly provided prosecutors with information, though it’s unclear whether it concerned Trump’s campaign or financial dealings not connected to the White House. The news comes as investigators are reportedly preparing new charges against Gates and his longtime business partner, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. Both Manafort and Gates pleaded not guilty to financial crimes in late October. Gates’ potential plea deal is expected to turn the tide of the Russia investigation and put more pressure on Manafort to cooperate. The White House has shrugged off Gates’ negotiations with investigators, however. “If Gates cooperates against Manafort that’s nothing to us,” a White House official was quoted as saying by CNN. Gates would be the third known former Trump aide cooperating in Mueller’s investigation. Former Trump aides George Papadopoulos and Michael Flynn have also reportedly made plea deals after pleading guilty to lying to the FBI.
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