Federal prosecutors on Tuesday backed a bid for former senior Trump campaign official Rick Gates to receive a sentence of probation for his crimes, citing his "extraordinary assistance" cases that led to convictions of other associates of President Donald Trump.
Prosecutors said they will not oppose Gates' request for a non-prison sentence as long as the former Republican consultant and lobbyist continues to help them with investigations, according to a filing in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.
Prosecutors noted that Gates, who is due to be sentenced Dec. 17, continued to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller and investigators even after receiving "pressure not to cooperate ... including assurances of monetary assistance."
They did not detail who made those "assurances" of monentary help to Gates.
Gates is a former business partner of Paul Manafort, who served for several months as chief of Trump's 2016 presidential campaign. Gates served on that campaign as well, and on Trump's inaugural committee.
As part of his guilty plea, he agreed to cooperate with prosecutors, in their probe of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Gates later testified at the trials of Manafort, Trump's long-time friend Roger Stone and Washington lawyer Greg Craig, who had served under two Democratic presidents.
Manafort and Stone both were convicted at their own trials. Manafort is serving a seven-a-half year sentence for multiple crimes related to earnings from his work for a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine.
Gates' lawyers, in their own sentencing memorandum filed Monday that Gates' cooperation "likely represents the most extensive undertaking by any cooperating defendant in the work of" Mueller's office.
"We submit that Richard Gates has accepted responsibility for his misconduct in every way possible and is deserving of a sentence of probation for a term to be determined by Your Honor," the lawyers wrote to the judge in the case.
Prosecutors in their filing Tuesday wrote, "Since entering a guilty plea in February 2018, the defendant, Richard W. Gates III, has provided the government with extraordinary assistance," prosecutors wrote.
"He met with investigators more than fifty times, providing truthful information to the Special Counsel's Office and several other prosecuting offices of the Department of Justice."
Gates "should be commended for standing up to provide information and public testimony against individuals such as Manafort, Craig, and Stone, knowing well that they enjoy support from the upper echelons of American politics and society," prosecutors wrote in their court filing.
"Although he is being sentenced now, Gates has committed to continue his cooperation with the government, and has agreed that the Court can make such continuing cooperation a condition of any probationary sentence that he may receive."