Manafort co-defendant's lawyers quit

Lawyers for Richard Gates, a former Trump campaign aide charged with tax fraud and money laundering last year as part of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerFox News legal analyst says Trump call with Ukraine leader could be 'more serious' than what Mueller 'dragged up' Lewandowski says Mueller report was 'very clear' in proving 'there was no obstruction,' despite having 'never' read it Fox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network MORE's Russia probe, have filed a motion to leave the case.

Gates's lawyers filed the motion Thursday, though the reason for their leaving was not made public.

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"Pursuant to Local Rule 44.5(d), undersigned counsel hereby move to withdraw as counsel of record in this case effective immediately for the reasons set forth in Exhibit 1 which is the subject of a motion to be filed under seal," the filing reads.

The motion by Gates's lawyers comes just under a week after CNN reported that Gates, a former business associate of Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortNew York City lawmakers vote to close Rikers Island jail by 2026 Perry says Trump directed him to discuss Ukraine with Giuliani: report Cuomo signs measure allowing New York to press charges despite presidential pardon MORE, who is also facing charged as part of Mueller's investigation, could be moving to cooperate with the special counsel.

Gates, who entered a not guilty plea to eight charges in October, added a top Washington defense attorney, Tom Green, to his counsel in January. Green was seen leaving Mueller's offices multiple times during the month, CNN reported, fueling the speculation that Gates was moving to cooperate. Green was not among the three lawyers who resigned from the case Thursday.

Walter Mack, one of the attorneys who resigned Thursday, said in court last month that Mueller's prosecutors had warned him of more impending charges in the case against Gates.

Mueller's prosecutors have charged four figures tied to President Trump's campaign so far, including Gates, Manafort, former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George PapadopoulosGeorge Demetrios PapadopoulosWe need answers to questions mainstream media won't ask about Democrats Trump asked Australian leader to help look into Mueller probe's origins: report US attorney recommends moving forward with charges against McCabe after DOJ rejects his appeal MORE.

Papadopoulos and Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents last year. Gates was released from house arrest earlier this month.