The man Donald Trump would love to fire — Special Counsel Robert Mueller III — has charged Rick Gates with money laundering and bank fraud. Gates was Trump’s Deputy Campaign Chairman in 2016, working closely with Trump’s then Campaign Chairman, Paul Manafort. And Gates has now pled guilty and has agreed to cooperate with Mueller (https://www.politico.com/story/2018/02/23/gates-set-to-plead-guilty-to-conspiracy-and-false-statement-charges-423403).
After Manafort was fired as Trump’s Campaign Chairman, probably because of his too-close ties to the Ukrainian government, Gates continued working for Trump as a liaison between Trump’s campaign and the RNC, and he was part of Trump’s transition team.
How soon will Trump pardon both Manafort and Gates? He’s already pardoned former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who committed criminal contempt of a federal court order in Arizona. The original court order enjoined Arpaio from racial profiling. Arpaio has always been in lockstep with Trump on immigration issues.
Will Trump agree to an on the record interview with Mueller?
Earlier today, associate solitary reporter Johanna Jones asked Trump about all this. Trump’s response was, “Johanna, I commend Rick Gates and Paul Manafort for laundering some $70 million when they represented the Ukrainians. Every American is entitled to make as much money as they want, and to lie about it. That has been my standard practice for many years."