The attorneys seeking to withdraw from their representation for ex-Trump campaign aide Rick Gates said that “that irreconcilable differences have developed with” Gates “which make our effective representation of the client impossible,” according to a court document that was filed last week, but only made public on Wednesday.
The three attorneys seeking to withdraw — Shanlon Wu, Walter Mack and Annemarie McAvoy — attended a hearing with Gates and prosecutors from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team. The hearing was under seal, meaning that neither the public nor the press could watch it.
After the hearing, U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson ordered some, but not all, of the court documents the attorneys had filed in connection to their effort to withdraw be made public.
Gates is facing charges of money laundering, tax evasion and failure to disclose foreign lobbying as part of Mueller’s Russia probe. He has pleaded not guilty.
Former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who joined Gates in the charges, also pleaded not guilty.
Last Thursday, Gates’ attorneys said in a filing that they were requesting to “withdraw as counsel of record in this case effective immediately,” but for reasons that the judge kept under seal.
A document indicating their reasons was what was unsealed Wednesday. However, another document that was filed under seal connected to the attorneys’ move to withdraw has not yet been released.
“Counsel is constrained by attorney-client privilege as to the specifics involved but understand that the Court may wish to inquire more specifically of counsel for the basis of this motion,” the filing said. “Counsel will make themselves available to the Court for such inquiry in whatever forum the Court deems appropriate.”
Prior to their move, CNN reported that Gates had quietly hired a new lawyer, Tom Green, a move the outlet took as a sign that Gates may be negotiating with Mueller’s team. Green was not present at Wednesday’s hearing. Coming out of the court room, Wu indicated that he was still under the gag order the judge put on the case and would not be able to answer reporters’ questions.
Read the recently unsealed filing below: