- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 30, 2017

A rather unamused federal judge put the kibosh on the New Year’s Eve plans of former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates.

In an order issued Friday, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson denied Mr. Gates’ request for leave from house arrest to attend New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day festivities with his family.

Mr. Gates has remained on house arrest since he was indicted in October on charges brought by Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation, which is looking into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and potential coordination with members of the Trump campaign.

The judge has granted him occasional permission to leave his Virginia home to attend family events. But in the order issued Friday, the judge appeared frustrated by the timing of the latest request, which was submitted Thursday.

Judge Jackson noted that she had accommodated other requests for permission to leave the home over the Christmas holiday, and that she had asked for all requests to attend holiday events to be submitted to the court by Dec. 20 so she could issue one definitive ruling by Dec. 22.

“After all of that, on December 28, 2017, defendant Gates filed yet another motion with a new plan for New Year’s celebrations,” Judge Jackson wrote in a minute order issued Friday. “But the court’s original order was designed to ensure that any requests would be filed at a time when they could be reviewed and processed in accordance with all of the arcane procedures involved in the docketing and transmittal of sealed orders, which cannot be handled electronically.”

“Given the untimely filing of the current motion, it will be denied,” she wrote.
Mr. Gates had worked alongside former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort during the election. Before that, he was Mr. Manafort’s top associate in his international political consulting business.

The two were indicted on charges including conspiracy to launder money, acting as unregistered agents of a foreign principal, and failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts.

The charges stem from an alleged scheme to conceal millions of dollars made lobbying on behalf of pro-Russian government of Ukraine, and do not relate to the pair’s work on President Trump’s campaign.

Mr. Manafort has also had difficulties modifying the conditions of his release, tussling with Mr. Mueller’s team over a bail package that would secure his release from house arrest.

• Andrea Noble can be reached at anoble@washingtontimes.com.

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