Paul Manafort associate Rick Gates was sentenced Tuesday to three years of probation and 45 days in jail, which he will be allowed to serve on weekends. He was also ordered to pay a $20,000 fine.
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson noted that, in weighing the sentence, she also had to consider the signal it would send to others who committed similar crimes.
“This is what I’ve been struggling with in anticipation of this sentencing for a long time,” she said, according to Politico.
Jackson notes the sentence isn't just for the defendant but also what it says for others who commit same crimes. “This is what I’ve been struggling with in anticipation of this sentencing for a long time," she says.
— Darren Samuelsohn (@dsamuelsohn) December 17, 2019
Gates served as deputy chair for the 2016 Trump campaign, and, before that, as a key business partner of Manafort during his lobbying efforts in Ukraine.
Unlike Manafort, however, Gates began cooperating with prosecutors early in Robert Mueller’s Russia probe and continued to do so for more than 21 months after pleading guilty to conspiring against the United States and lying to the FBI.
“Gates’s information alone warranted, even demanded further investigation from the standpoint of national security, the integrity of our elections, and enforcing criminal laws,” Jackson said in court, The Washington Post reported. She called the former Manafort deputy “hardly a minor player.”
Gates asked Jackson last week for only probation, and not prison time, and lawyers for the Department of Justice agreed.
In a sentencing memo, prosecutors noted that Gates “worked assiduously” to cooperate and provided “substantial assistance in the investigation and prosecution of others.” Among those he testified against were Manafort and Roger Stone.
Prosecutors also noted Gates had had resisted attempts to block his cooperation in the first place.
“Gates received pressure not to cooperate with the government, including assurances of monetary assistance,” prosecutors wrote.
Prosecutors noted at the sentencing hearing Tuesday that Manafort told Gates there would be legal defense funds available if Gates rejected a plea deal, Politico’s Darren Samuelsohn reported.