Rick Gates Is Ready to Make a Deal in the Russia Probe, and It's Bad News for Paul Manafort

Were you curious about what kind of plea deal Rick Gates made with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team in the ongoing Russia probe?

Well, we’re getting a few details.

Here’s what we know, so far.

Rick Gates, a former aide on Team Trump during the campaign, as well as a former business associate to Paul Manafort, was indicted, along with Manafort, back in October for fraud and money laundering charges.

Gates and Manafort have pleaded innocent to the charges against them.

Last week, there was a report that indicated that Gates was ready to cooperate with Mueller and make a plea deal. He had hired a white collar defense attorney, and that attorney was seen meeting with Mueller’s team twice in January. That gave some the notion that a deal was about to be made.

Today, there are further reports that a deal is near.

Gates, according to reports, will be testifying against his former associate, Manafort, as part of that plea deal.

A person close to the talks told the Times that Gates will change his plea “within a few days” and that he expects to receive a far shorter sentence if he cooperates with Mueller’s office.

Mueller accused Manafort of bank fraud in a court filing Friday, but did not file new criminal charges against the former Trump campaign head.

There is a method to Mueller’s madness, it seems.

To date, he has also charged former Trump team members, Michael Flynn and George Papadopoulos. Both have pleaded guilty to the charges against him.

Mueller also brought grand jury indictments against 13 Russian nationals and 3 Russian companies on Friday, with charges ranging from wire fraud to identity theft.

All of this is part of a far-reaching Russia probe, and it is likely not to end, anytime soon.