Feds ask judge to postpone ex-Trump campaign aide's sentencing

Feds ask judge to postpone ex-Trump campaign aide's sentencing
© Getty Images

Federal prosecutors have asked a judge to further postpone former Trump campaign aide Richard Gates’s sentencing, suggesting in a new filing that he may be a trial witness against former Obama White House counsel Gregory Craig and Trump ally Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneMeet Trump's most trusted pollsters 3 real problems Republicans need to address to win in 2020 Judge rejects Stone's request to dismiss charges MORE.

In a joint status report with Gates’s defense attorneys on Monday, federal prosecutors in Washington, D.C., wrote that Gates "continues to cooperate with the government as required by his Plea Agreement."

ADVERTISEMENT

The filing also explicitly cites the upcoming trials of Craig and Stone in asking that Gates’s sentencing be delayed.

"As a result, the parties do not believe that a sentencing date should be set at this time," the filing states. "Accordingly, the parties respectfully request that they provide a joint status report no later than August 30, 2019."

Federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson approved their request on Tuesday.

Gates, 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’s ex-business partner and President TrumpDonald John TrumpPelosi arrives in Jordan with bipartisan congressional delegation Trump says his Doral resort will no longer host G-7 after backlash CNN's Anderson Cooper mocks WH press secretary over Fox News interview MORE’s deputy campaign chairman, pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy and making false statements to federal investigators. He agreed to cooperate with 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 investigation more than a year ago.

He provided information relevant to Mueller’s now shuttered investigation into Russia's election interference and is cooperating with "several ongoing investigations," according to prior court filings.

Prosecutors have repeatedly sought to delay Gates’s sentencing, an indication they are still debriefing him for information or expect him to testify against defendants in the future. Monday’s filing is the clearest indication yet that Gates is expected to again take the witness stand. Gates already testified against Manafort in federal court in Alexandria, Va., a trial that ended last summer with a jury convicting Manafort of bank and tax fraud.

Craig was indicted in April on charges he made false statements to investigators and hid details about his work for Ukrainian officials. Gates worked with Craig in the course of his lobbying work for pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine.

Mueller reportedly handed off his case to the Southern District of New York before it was passed to federal prosecutors in D.C. Craig has pleaded not guilty, and his trial is slated to begin Aug. 12.

Separately, Stone was charged by Mueller in February with lying to Congress about his contacts regarding WikiLeaks, obstruction and witness tampering.

Stone only briefly worked on the Trump campaign in 2015 but maintained contact with campaign officials, and he is accused of lying about his contacts with senior campaign officials about WikiLeaks releases in testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, among other things. Stone has also pleaded not guilty, and his trial is scheduled for Nov. 5.

It remains unclear what other investigations Gates may be cooperating on.

Mueller’s prosecutors handed off Gates’s case to the U.S. attorney’s office in D.C. after shuttering the special counsel probe in late March. Mueller did not find evidence to charge members of Trump’s campaign with conspiring with Russia and did not reach a conclusion on whether Trump obstructed justice.

Mueller’s final report repeatedly references Gates’s testimony in laying out contacts between the Trump campaign and Russians and Kremlin-linked individuals.

Mueller referred 14 instances of potential criminal activity to law enforcement in other districts that fell outside his mandate to investigate Russia's interference. Only two of those were revealed in his redacted 448-page report, including the Craig case as well as the case involving former Trump lawyer Michael CohenMichael Dean CohenTrump offers condolences on frequent foe Cummings: 'Very hard, if not impossible, to replace' Elijah Cummings, Democratic chairman and powerful Trump critic, dies at 68 Schiff says committees will eventually make impeachment inquiry transcripts public MORE. Details on the 12 other matters are redacted; it is unclear whether they will ultimately yield criminal charges.

—Updated Tuesday at 10:44 a.m.