Rick Gates pleaded guilty to two criminal charges and agreed to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing probe into Russia’s attempted meddling in the 2016 election.
Gates wrote to family and friends “despite my initial desire to vigorously defend myself, I have had a change of heart.” “The reality of how long this legal process will likely take, the cost, and the circus-like atmosphere of an anticipated trial are too much. I will better serve my family moving forward by exiting this process.”
Gates, who has a young family, has endured immense pressure , facing charges that carried the potential for more than a decade in jail, and risking the remainder of his savings. The deal hammered out between Mueller’s team and Gates’ legal team has the potential to spare him jail time.
This was a “gut-wrenching decision” for the 45-year-old former campaign official, a source familiar with his thinking told ABC News. Gates also faced a significant financial burden, the source added.