Mueller Questions Value Of Rick Gates’ Bail Proposal

Susan Walsh/AP

Another day, another debate waged in court filings over whether the bail assets being proposed by Rick Gates are worth what Gates says they are.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, in a court filing Wednesday, questioned the value of assets Gates offered in a bail proposal last week. In particular, Mueller expressed skepticism over how Gates assessed the value of a commercial property included in the package.

The details of Gates’ bail proposal were mostly obscured by redactions, but his lawyers claim that the package is worth $5.8 million — well over the $5 million in secured bail the judge in the case said she would need to see before approving Gates’ release from house arrest.

“At issue instead is whether the pledged property and assets meet the required bond amount,” Mueller’s team said in its response to the proposal Wednesday. “The government contends that they do not. ”

Mueller zeroed in on an commercial property that Gates offered in his package, claiming the value to be “overstated.”

Mueller noted that there are multiple ways to evaluate the value of such a property, while wondering if the way Gates assessed its value —by also including what the property owner earns by renting it — was “appropriate” in the circumstances of his case.

“But even if the approach warrants consideration, the defendant’s calculations under it appear to be flawed,” Mueller said, going on to argue that Gates is not subtracting the operating expenses connected with the property from its total operating revenue.

Gates has been under house arrest since Oct. 30, when he turned himself in facing charges as part of Mueller’s Russia probe. He and his longtime business partner Paul Manafort have been charged with tax evasion, money laundering and failure to disclose foreign lobbying. Both have pleaded not guilty

In his filing Wednesday, Mueller added that if the judge, U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson, does grant Gates release from home confinement, that she do so with the same conditions offered to Manafort when the judge approved his bail package. Among other things, Manafort was ordered to obey an 11 p.m. curfew, and to get permission for any domestic travel not related to court appearances in D.C.

Read the full filing below: