- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 16, 2019

Rick Gates, President Trump’s convicted former deputy campaign chairman, will learn his fate next month following the completion of political consultant Roger Stone’s trial Friday.

Gates will be sentenced during a hearing set to start at 10 a.m. on December 17, according to a court filing entered later Friday evening. He faces a maximum sentence of nearly six years in federal prison.

The sentencing hearing for Gates was announced hours after Stone, a fellow former political consultant and member of Mr. Trump’s presidential election campaign, was convicted by a jury of seven criminal counts.

Gates and Stone are among several former members of the Trump campaign who were criminally indicted as a result of the special counsel’s investigation into the 2016 election.

Led by Robert Mueller, a former FBI director, the special counsel’s investigation resulted in both Gates and Paul Manafort, the former chairman of Mr. Trump’s election campaign, facing criminal charges related to their work consulting for Ukrainian clients prior to the 2016 race.

Gates, 47, initially pleaded not guilty before reversing course and entering a cooperation agreement with prosecutors in early 2018. He subsequently testified for the government during Manafort’s criminal trial last August prior to his former colleague being found guilty of eight counts of bank and tax fraud and accordingly sentenced to spend several years in federal prison.

More recently, Gates testified for the government during Stone’s criminal trial Tuesday about a 2016 phone call he recalled happening between the defendant and Mr. Trump in which he believed the two discussed the WikiLeaks website and its release of stolen Democratic party emails. Lawyers representing Gates and the Department of Justice entered a joint court filing on the eve of his testimony requesting that his sentencing be scheduled for the middle of next month.

Gates has pleaded guilty to counts of conspiracy against the U.S. and lying to investigators. A deadline for attorneys for the defense and prosecution to submit filings to be considered at sentencing has been set for Dec. 9.

Stone, 67, faces up to 50 years behind bars after being found guilty Friday of seven counts of obstruction, witness tampering and lying to Congress. His sentencing is currently set for February 2020.

Six people closely tied to Mr. Trump have been convicted or found guilty of criminal charges since the president took office, including five members of his election campaign: Gates, Stone, Manafort and former campaign advisers Michael T. Flynn and George Papadopoulos.

Michael Cohen, Mr. Trump’s former personal lawyer, pleaded guilty last year to federal charges brought separate from the special counsel’s probe and sentenced to three years in prison.

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