There May Be a Plea Deal in the Works for This Former Trump Campaign Aid (What Does That Mean for the Russia Probe?)

FILE - In this April 21, 2016 file photo, attorney and former FBI Director Robert Mueller, right, arrives for a court hearing at the Phillip Burton Federal Building in San Francisco. Mueller has been overseeing settlement talks with Volkswagen, the U.S. government and private lawyers. Mueller is being honored with an award from West Point. The U.S. Military Academy’s Association of Graduates will present the Thayer Award to Mueller on Thursday evening, Oct. 6, 2016. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

Rick Gates, the partner of Paul Manafort, and a former Trump campaign aide has been working on a plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller, according to a new report.

Does this mean the Russia probe is ramping up, or about to come in for a landing?

Hard to say, but the news of Gates’ plea deal negotiation is interesting.

Sources familiar with the case told CNN that Gates has been in negotiations for a plea deal for nearly a month. A plea deal with Mueller could indicate Gates is cooperating with the special counsel’s investigation.

CNN reports that Gates has had a “Queen for a Day” interview with Mueller’s team, a term criminal lawyers use to describe an interview in which a defendant answers questions from prosecutors and can admit to crimes with few consequences.

Gates may be taking this plea deal because of new, tax-related charges that could be coming his way.

Gates has already been hit with 8 different charges in the probe, one of which involved money laundering.

Additional charges against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort are also being prepared, according to CNN, which reported that Gates’s plea deal could be announced within the next week.

Gates hired a top white-collar attorney last month that was spotted meeting twice with Mueller’s team.

To date, charges have been brought against four former members of Donald Trump’s team: Gates, Manafort, Michael Flynn, and former foreign policy aide George Papadopoulos.

The speculation over what Gates’ plea deal may mean for the direction of the investigation has been hotly debated, this evening.

I say hold on to your hats. I don’t think we’re seeing half of what’s coming.