Trump’s campaign aide Rick Gates to plead guilty

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International desk: Senior Trump campaign official Rick Gates is expected to plead guilty on Friday in connection with the ongoing probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 US elections.

Gates and his erstwhile boss, Trump Campaign chairman Paul Manafort, face multiple charges of financial crimes such as money laundering and violating rules governing US citizens representing foreign governments.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller III had announced new charges against them on Thursday for defrauding lenders.

But neither has been accused yet of participating in the Russian meddling or colluding in any fashion.

The only direct indictments handed out for meddling went out to 13 Russian individuals and three organisations.

Gates will be the third member of the Trump campaign to enter into a pleas deal following George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy adviser, and Micheal Flynn, who served briefly as Trump’s national security advisor.

Papadopoulos and Flynn have pleaded guilty to lying to investigators about their communications and interactions with Russians.

Gates and Manafort’s financial crimes relate to their work with Ukrainians.

They were indicted last October on 12 charges ranging from conspiracy to money laundering.

Mueller announced a 32-count indictment of the duo on Thursday accusing them of lying about their income, misleading lenders and conspiring to defraud banks.

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