Judge to hear from attorneys who no longer want to represent Gates

Judge to hear from attorneys who no longer want to represent Gates
© Greg Nash

A federal judge on Thursday ordered a hearing for three lawyers representing one of the individuals indicted in special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerMueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony MORE's probe to explain why they want to withdraw as Richard Gates's legal counsel in the midst a high-profile criminal proceeding.

Earlier this month, Shanlon Wu, Walter Mack and Annemarie McAvoy said that there were "irreconcilable differences" with Gates that affected their ability to represent the former Trump campaign aide.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT
Judge Amy Berman Jackson ordered the closed hearing to take place on Friday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, according to a filing.
ADVERTISEMENT

Mueller in October charged Gates and former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortEx-Trump campaign aide Rick Gates testifies against former Obama counsel Gregory Craig Trial of ex-Obama White House counsel suddenly postponed Top Mueller probe prosecutor to join Georgetown Law as lecturer MORE with tax fraud, money laundering and conspiracy against the United States. 

Gates and Manafort, who are longtime business partners, both pleaded not guilty to the dozen charges brought against them.

Reports throughout February, however, have increasingly begun to indicate that Gates is considering taking a plea deal with Mueller, who is investigating Russia's election interference and whether the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow.

Paying the hefty price tag of a high-powered legal team in a drawn-out legal battle appears to be weighing on Gates, according to the reports.

Mueller also reportedly made a new filing under seal in the case against Manafort and Gates recently, although the nature of that document is not publicly known.