President Trump’s early morning Twitter rants are usually a reflection of his paranoia and desperate need to deflect from new revelations in the growing case of collusion and obstruction of justice against him. His Twitter rant this morning, in which he touted the incredibly unsurprising assessment by Fox News contributors that they had “seen no evidence” of collusion or obstruction against the president, was particularly telling.
Of course they haven’t seen it, and would insist they hadn’t seen it even if every piece of evidence was presented to the public and was irrefutable. However, they aren’t on Mueller’s team and don’t know what’s been found out yet. There is someone who does know, though, and that person’s main concern at this time is saving his own skin.
Mueller's team has officially proposed dismissing charges against RICK GATES, following last week's guilty plea. pic.twitter.com/AM69yxGtsm
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) February 27, 2018
As a result of Gates’ plea agreement, in which the former Trump campaign aide pleaded guilty to conspiracy against the U.S. as well as other serious charges, Mueller filed a motion to dismiss all the charges against him. While that’s great news for Gates, it can’t exactly be the most welcome news for Donald Trump or those members of his campaign and transition team also facing charges and/or questions in the investigation.
Lock Who Up?
Jan 18, 2017
Trump pays $25M fraud settlement
Oct 5, 2017
George Papadopoulos pleads guilty
Dec 1, 2017
Michael Flynn pleads guilty
Feb 12, 2018
Richard Pinedo pleads guilty
Feb 20, 2018
Alex van der Zwaan pleads guilty
Feb 23, 2018
Rick Gates pleads guilty https://t.co/kKF0hPnG5w
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) February 23, 2018
Gates served as an aide to former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, who has also been indicted in the investigation of alleged collusion between the 2016 Trump presidential campaign and Russian government operatives. The hiring of Paul Manafort, a rather shady international figure even before he began working on Trump’s campaign, raised questions at the time. Those questions only grew deeper when Russia’s attempts to interfere in the presidential elections were made public.
This superseding indictment against Paul Manafort shows:
-Mueller knows a lot that we don't know
-Manafort faces a significant risk of dying in prison of old age
-Any rational person in the position of Manafort would seek a plea deal sooner rather than later. https://t.co/N547g5hZJ7
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) February 23, 2018
Buzzfeed reported at the time of Gates’ plea that:
‘Gates has agreed to cooperate with the special counsel’s office. If prosecutors determine he has “provided substantial assistance,” they have agreed to file a motion asking for a downward departure from the sentencing guidelines range. When Gates is sentenced, the government will dismiss the remaining counts in the original indictment as well as the new charges filed in Virginia.
‘As part of the plea deal, Gates agreed to delay his sentencing to give him time to cooperate. Asked how far out into the future the judge should set a deadline for the government to update the court on the status of the case, special counsel prosecutor Andrew Weissmann suggested three to four months. US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson set a deadline for a status report for May 14.’
Trump may hold out hope, or at least believe that his rabid followers will, that the investigation is nothing more than a “witch hunt” since people on Fox News insist there is no evidence to prove collusion or obstruction. What Rick Gates knows, however, may blow all of that hope apart.
Featured image screengrab via YouTube