Three attorneys representing former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates in charges brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller are seeking to withdraw from representing him, in a motion filed Thursday.
However, it is unclear why they have sought to quit. Their motion says that their reasons to withdraw “immediately” are listed in an exhibit that they have sought to file under seal.
The three attorneys quitting Gates’ legal team are Shanlon Wu, Walter Mack and Annemarie McAvoy.
The move comes about a week after CNN reported that Gates had quietly hired on a new lawyer, Tom Green, to his team. Green’s name has not been added to the case’s public record, but the CNN report suggested he may be part of an effort to negotiate with Mueller.
The CNN reporter who broke the news that Green had joined Gates’ team tweeted Thursday that attorneys from his firm spent the afternoon in Mueller’s office building.
BREAKING: Rick Gates’ three attorneys who’ve been repping him in court withdrew from his case this afternoon.
AND THEN: A team of lawyers from Sidley Austin (which we connected to Gates last week) spent the afternoon inside Mueller’s office building. https://t.co/jjTkZ6nLW9
— Katelyn Polantz (@kpolantz) February 1, 2018
Gates — along with his longtime business partner, ex-Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort — have been charged with money laundering, tax evasion and failure to disclose foreign lobbying as part of Mueller’ Russia probe. Both men have pleaded not guilty.