Federal prosecutors and Rick Gates on Thursday took a step toward beginning the sentencing process for the former Trump campaign advisor, who made a plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller in February 2018.
In a joint court filing Thursday evening signed by D.C. U.S. Attorney Jessie Liu, whose office has taken over Gates’s case since the end of the Mueller probe, they asked the court to start the probation office’s drafting of his pre-sentencing report.
The filing noted that Gates is still expected to testify in the trial of Roger Stone, slated to begin in November; in the trial this month of Greg Craig, a lawyer involved in the Ukraine work of Gates and his former boss Paul Manafort; and potentially at Manafort’s trial in a state New York court, which has not been scheduled yet but is expected at some point in 2020.
“Because the defendant has been cooperating for an extended period of time, and because of the defendant’s personal matters described to the Court in [a sealed June court filing] the defendant wishes to be sentenced as soon as possible after the completion of his cooperation with the United States,” Thursday’s filing said. “The government has no objection to scheduling a sentencing date after the aforementioned trials are finished and defendant’s cooperation has been completed.”
Gates pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and to conspiracy. He was a key witness in Mueller’s investigation, testifying against Manafort in Mueller’s federal case against the former Trump campaign chairman last summer. Gates was also cited several times in Mueller’s report, particularly in sections about the Trump campaign’s efforts to capitalize on the Wikileaks release of hacked Democratic emails.
Unlike other Mueller witnesses who pleaded guilty in cooperation deals, Gates’ assistance to prosecutors has been publicly drama free, aside from the tumultuous testimony he gave at Manafort’s trial.
When the probation office finishes its pre-sentencing report, it will offer a sentencing recommendation for Gates. Gates’ attorneys and the prosecutors will then have the opportunity to put forward their own recommendations as well.
Update: U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson granted the request on Friday and ordered the probation office to file its pre-sentencing report by Nov. 15.
Read the court filing below: