Mueller Says He’s Still Struggling To Pin Down Gates’ Assets For Bail Package

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Update: This story has been updated to include Rick Gates’ rebuttal to some of the prosecutors’ claims as well as the decision by the judge overseeing the case to not allow Gates to leave home confinement.

Two weeks after Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team began its negotiations with Paul Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates for a bail package, the government alleged in court filings Wednesday that it still had not obtained enough financial information from Gates to propose an agreement.

Gates and Manafort were placed in home confinement on Oct. 30, after turning themselves in as part of Mueller’s Russia investigation, where they’re facing allegations of money laundering, tax evasion and failure to comply with foreign lobbying disclosure laws.

At a hearing on Nov. 2, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson indicated she considered Gates and Manafort a flight risk but signaled her openness to releasing them from home confinement if they put up enough financial assets as bail.

The latest round of filings come as Gates has requested to be permitted to travel outside of his home for various family commitments and work meetings.

Prosecutors said Wednesday that Gates has still not “completed any paperwork to post his house, or any other property, and has failed to answer a series of questions about his assets.”

“[T]he government continues to have concerns about the accuracy of the defendant’s account of his net assets,” Mueller’s team said.

Prosecutors are opposed to the request filed by Gates on Wednesday to be allowed to leave the house to assist with transporting his children, to meet with work clients so that he can “continue to earn a living to support his family,” and to attend family events over the holidays.

The government in its response said that Gates’ suggestion that he will ask for permission to leave home for family events during Christmas “undermines the notion that counsel is diligently working to secure a bail package.”

In addition to the issues faced in assessing Gates’ net worth, Mueller also raised concerns about one of the individuals Gates has offered as a surety.

“Counsel has noted that one proposed surety already serves as a surety for a relative who is currently charged in the United States District Court for the Southern District New York, a circumstance that, at least at first blush, raises certain concerns,” the government said.

Late update:

Gates’ attorneys filed a response to the Special Counsel Office’s claims about the information needed for a bail package. The filing accused Mueller’s team of being “dismayingly disingenuous”  and said that “any delay in Mr. Gates submitting a bail package is entirely caused by” the Special Counsel’s Office. It laid out a number of steps Gates attorneys say they have taken to reach a deal on a bail package,  including submitting a new appraisal of Gates’ house, and handing over to Mueller the contact information of representatives who could confirm the value of some of Gates’ other assets.

Gates’ attorneys said that they planned on submitting those relevant documents to the court as well — a step they hadn’t taken yet because they had been “led to believe that by the SCO that the SCO sought in good faith to agree to a joint proposal.”

Nonetheless, the judge, U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson issued an order Thursday denying Gates’ request to be released from home confinement for the particular circumstances he had outlined.

“The Court is well aware that a house full of busy children comes with constant and competing transportation demands, and that the burden shouldered by many mothers is exacerbated by defendant’s current bond conditions,” she said. “But the Court has repeatedly made it clear what it would take to secure defendant’s release, and the record reflects that the family may be able to ameliorate the problem in other ways during the time it takes to reach an agreement with the prosecution or submit the necessary financial information and have the issued resolved by the Court.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tierney Sneed is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked for U.S. News and World Report. She grew up in Florida and attended Georgetown University.

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