Rick Gates’s Lawyer Calls ‘BS’ On Report Of His Ouster

Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images North America

There was confusion Thursday over the status of a lawyer for Rick Gates, the Trump campaign staffer under indictment in the Mueller probe alongside Paul Manafort: The Daily Beast reported Thursday that attorney Tom Green had been fired; Green called the story “BS” and “Unbelievable” in a brief email to TPM.

The Daily Beast reported Thursday that Gates had fired his lawyer, Tom Green of D. C. firm Sidley Austin. But as soon as the story broke, Green submitted a court filing saying he would appear in court on Gates’s behalf. By email, Green denied the “BS story.”

Betsy Woodruff, the reporter who wrote the Daily Beast story, said on Twitter that she stood by the piece.

TPM has contacted multiple representatives for Gates requesting clarification.

Gates also submitted a second motion saying he did not oppose Gates’s old legal team leaving the case, as they’d indicated they wanted to do earlier this month.

Green has been with the team less than a month. Three more of Gates’s attorneys have said they want to quit: Shanlon Wu, Walter Mack and Annemarie McAvoy, filed a motion earlier in February to withdraw “immediately” from representing him, citing “irreconcilable differences.” The three lawyers appear to remain on Gates’ team.

Moreover, the initial report states that Gates won’t sign a deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller as previously reported.

The confusion comes at a bad time for the defense: Also on Thursday, Mueller filed a superseding indictment adding charges of money laundering and tax evasion to the laundry list of financial crimes with which Gates and Manafort are charged.

The pair were indicted in December on charges including conspiracy against the United States and failure to register as foreign agents during their lobbying work for the pro-Russian Party of Regions in Ukraine. Though few are prosecuted under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, the list of violations of the act in the indictment is extensive.

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