Rick Gates

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Richard "Rick" W. Gates III (1972–) is an American lobbyist and political consultant. Gates began his career as an intern for the lobbying firm Black, Manafort, Stone and Kelly, which was co-owned by Paul Manafort and Roger Stone.[1] Gates began working as an employee of the firm in 2006.[1] Gates' clients at the firm included Ukrainian president Viktor YanukovychWikipedia and Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska,Wikipedia allies of Vladimir Putin and mafia-backed kleptocrats. Gates left the firm in 2008 to work for John McCain's presidential campaign.[1] In 2016, Trump hired Manafort to work on his presidential campaign. Gates worked under Manafort, and stayed on after Manafort left the campaign.[2] Gates also took the fall for Melania Trump's plagiarized GOP convention speech.[2]

On October 27, 2017 Gates was indicted along with Manafort by a federal grand jury under the direction of FBI special counsel Robert Mueller.[3] The charges against Gates are:[4][5]

  • Conspiracy Against the United States
  • Conspiracy to Launder Money
  • Failure to File as an Agent of A Foreign Principal
  • False and Misleading FARA[note 1] Statements
  • False Statements[note 2]

On February 22, 2018, additional charges were filed against Manafort and Gates. The new charges against Gates included:[7]

  • Assisting in the Preparation of False United States Individual Income (5 counts)
  • Subscribing to False United States Individual Income Tax Returns For 2010–2014 Tax Years (5 counts)
  • Subscribing to a False Amended United States Individual Income Tax Return For 2013 Tax Year (1 count)
  • Failure To File Reports Of Foreign Bank And Financial Accounts For Calendar Years 2011–2013 (3 counts)
  • Bank Fraud Conspiracy (5 counts)
  • Bank Fraud (4 counts)

On February 23, 2018, Gates plead guilty to one count each of conspiracy and lying to the FBI, and will cooperate with FBI special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.[8]

In a government sentencing memorandum against Alex van der Zwaan ("the lying Dutchman"[9]), who pleaded guilty to one count of making false statements in February 2018 in the FBI's Russian election interference investigation, it was revealed that Gates and "Person A" were directly communicating during September and October 2016 during the period when Gates was working for the Trump presidential campaign.[10][11] It was also revealed that Gates told van der Zwaan that Person A was a former Russian Intelligence Officer with the GRU.Wikipedia Person A is believed to be a former Ukraine-based aide to Gates and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, named Konstantin Kilimnik.[11] Prior to his arrest, van der Zwaan was a London-based lawyer for the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

During the July 2018 trial of Manafort, Gates admitted to having embezzled money from Manafort…[12] it's true, there's no honor among thieves.

See also[edit]


  1. Foreign Agents Registration Act
  2. A "False Statements" charge is generally easier to prove than perjury.[6]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Confessore, Nicholas; Meier, Barry (June 16, 2017). "How the Russia Investigation Entangled a Manafort Protégé" (in en-US). The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Who Is Rick Gates? Everything you need to know about the former Trump aide arrested alongside Paul Manafort on Monday by Russ Choma (Oct. 30, 2017 10:37 AM) Mother Jones.
  3. The charges against Paul Manafort – full text of indictment: Donald Trump’s former campaign manager and his ex-business associate Rick Gates have been charges with a number of offences including money laundering (30 October 2017 10.05 EDT) The Guardian.
  4. United States of Amercia v. Paul J. Manafort, Jr. and Richard W. Gates III (October 27, 2017) United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
  5. United States of Amercia v. Paul J. Manafort, Jr. and Richard W. Gates III Crim. No. 17-201 (ABJ/DAR) (October 31, 2017) United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
  6. The Law of Lying: Perjury, False Statements, and Obstruction (The Russia Connection) by Helen Klein Murillo (March 22, 2017, 9:30 AM) Lawfare.
  7. United States of Amercia v. Paul J. Manafort, Jr. and Richard W. Gates III Criminal No 1:18 Cr. 83 (TSE)(S-1). In the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division
  8. Rick Gates, former Trump campaign official, pleads guilty to 2 charges by Melissa Macaya & Peter Stevenson (February 23, 2018 at 3:05 PM) The Washington Post.
  9. It's Mueller time by Dana Milbank (April 3, 2018 at 7:58 PM) The Washington Post.
  10. United States of America v. Alex van der Zwaan Case 1:18-cr-00031-ABJ (Filed 03/27/18) United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Mueller just drew his most direct line to date between the Trump campaign and Russia by Aaron Blake (March 28, 2018 at 8:57 AM) The Washington Post.
  12. Paul Manafort trial Day 7: Gates finishes, judge dings prosecutors (again), accountant takes stand by Rachel Weiner, Matt Zapotosky, Lynh Bui and Tom Jackman (August 8, 2018 at 12:53 PM) The Washington Post.