LA Times: Rick Gates will plead GUILTY and COOPERATE with Mueller probe…

More no bueno news for el Presidente Trumpo. If the Los Angeles Times can be believed, and that’s an iffy proposition, Manafort’s business bud Rick Gates is going to plead guilty and cooperate with Mueller.

A former top aide to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign will plead guilty to fraud-related charges within days — and has made clear to prosecutors that he would testify against Paul Manafort, the lawyer-lobbyist who once managed the campaign.

The change of heart by Trump’s former deputy campaign manager Richard Gates, who had pleaded not guilty after being indicted in October on charges similar to Manafort’s, was described in interviews by people familiar with the case.

I would tend towards believing it’s true since no one will deny the report:

Gates’ defense lawyer, Thomas C. Green, did not respond to messages left by phone and email. Peter Carr, a spokesman for special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, declined on Saturday to comment.

According to a person familiar with those talks, Gates, a longtime political consultant, can expect “a substantial reduction in his sentence” if he fully cooperates with the investigation. He said Gates is likely to serve about 18 months in prison.

The delicate terms reached by the opposing lawyers, he said, will not be specified in writing: Gates “understands that the government may move to reduce his sentence if he substantially cooperates, but it won’t be spelled out.”

One of the final discussion points has centered on exactly how much cash or other valuables — derived from Gates’ allegedly illegal activity — that the government will require him to forfeit as part of the guilty plea.

This is very bad news for Manafort, who has also been accused of bank fraud by Mueller on top of past charges. So if they squeeze Manafort, are they hoping he turns on Trump? Whatever it is, it better be pretty solid, because there’s a LOT on the line and many people will freak out if Mueller comes up with something that is less than substantial.

Also, as Rush pointed out earlier, Trump has entrapped himself a little bit after praising and endorsing Mueller’s indictments – there’s no indication that the investigation is over, and if he comes up with something against Trump, his cries of “rigged investigation!!” won’t be as potent now.

Anyway, have yourselves an open thread.

Here’s some comment fodder:

Awesome video of idiot thieves trying to break into a place with bricks:

Seriously, what is that??!?!

And finally:

LOLOLOL!! Get it? Get it? Oh. I’ll explain in the comments maybe….

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