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Former Trump campaign official pleads guilty to conspiracy and false statements

[JURIST] Former Trump campaign official Richard Gates pleaded guilty [plea, PDF] on Friday to two counts: conspiracy against the US and making a false statement.

The plea came as part of the case Special Counsel Robert Mueller is pursuing against Gates and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. Part of the plea deal requires Gates to cooperate with the prosecution. His other charges will be dismissed.

According to the superseding information, Gates lied [superseding indictment; PDF] to the special counsel during an investigation by saying that Manafort had told him that Ukraine had not been mentioned in a March 2013 meeting between Manafort, a senior company lobbyist, and a member of Congress. In reality, Gates had helped prepare a report with Manafort about the discussions concerning Ukraine. He also admitted to conspiring in money laundering.

A status update hearing has been tentatively set [Politico report] for May 14.

Mueller brought [superseding indictment; PDF] new charges against Manafort, accusing him of assembling of European politicians to lobby for Ukrainian interests in the US.

On Thursday, Mueller filed [JURIST report] 32 new charges against Manafort and Gates, including money laundering and bank fraud. Manafort and Gates were originally charged [JURIST report] on 12 counts, including conspiracy and false statements. Gates pleaded not guilty at that time. Last month, Manafort sued [JURIST report] the Justice Department and Mueller, claiming that the appointment of Mueller and subsequent investigation violated the Administrative Procedure Act.

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