Gates close to plea deal with Mueller in Russia probe: report

Former Trump campaign adviser Richard Gates is reportedly close to a plea deal with special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE.

Sources familiar with the case told CNN that Gates has been in negotiations for a plea deal for nearly a month. A plea deal with Mueller could indicate Gates is cooperating with the special counsel’s investigation.

CNN reports that Gates has had a “Queen for a Day” interview with Mueller’s team, a term criminal lawyers use to describe an interview in which a defendant answers questions from prosecutors and can admit to crimes with few consequences.

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Meanwhile, Mueller’s investigators are planning to file new charges against Gates that are tax related, sources familiar with the investigation told the network. The additional charges could be used to pressure Gates into cooperating with Mueller’s team.

Additional charges against former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortPavlich: Mueller’s indictment of the media Dem senator: 'Putin had something on' Trump which may account for 'plainly false' statements Debate builds over making Mueller report public MORE are also being prepared, according to CNN, which reported that Gates's plea deal could be announced within the next week.

Gates hired a top white-collar attorney last month that was spotted meeting twice with Mueller’s team.

The former business associate of Manafort pleaded not guilty in October to eight charges in the probe, including money laundering. Manafort also pleaded not guilty to charges in the same case.

Mueller has filed charges against four figures tied to President TrumpDonald John TrumpCoast Guard chief: 'Unacceptable' that service members must rely on food pantries, donations amid shutdown Dem lawmaker apologizes after saying it's never been legal in US to force people to work for free Grassley to hold drug pricing hearing MORE in his probe, including Gates and Manafort, whose charges stem from work they did for a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine.

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former Trump campaign adviser George PapadopoulosGeorge Demetrios PapadopoulosHow the Clinton machine flooded the FBI with Trump-Russia dirt … until agents bit Barr: It would be a crime for president to pardon someone in exchange for their silence Press: What dirt does Putin have on Trump? MORE have both pleaded guilty to charges from Mueller. Both Flynn and Papadopoulos have agreed to cooperate with Mueller in the investigation.