Rick Gates, who also served in a senior role in Donald Trump’s campaign as an advisor, has been testifying this week in Paul Manafort’s trial and he hasn’t been holding back. He’s telling everything and he has more to tell beyond the Manafort case, according to a court filing from special counsel Robert Mueller.
According to the filing, Mueller’s team wants to keep a discussion between trial attorneys and Judge T.S. Ellis regarding a question to Gates secret from the public because the transcript of the conversation would “reveal details of the ongoing investigation,” CNN reports.
Gates was a deputy to Manafort on the Trump campaign and worked on the transition and presidential inauguration so it’s likely that he knows where the bodies are buried. This week, Gates told the jury that he had committed crimes alongside, and at the direction of, his former partner Paul Manafort.
On Tuesday afternoon, in the middle of Gates’ testimony against Manafort, the secret conversation took place.
Defense attorney Kevin Downing asked Gates, “Were you interviewed on several occasions about your time at the Trump campaign?”
Before Gates could answer, Prosecutor Greg Andres objected to the question.
That’s when the lawyers and Judge Ellis got together in the corner of the courtroom to discuss whether the question could be permitted. So, Ellis immediately called for a break after the conversation — and Downing tried to ask about the Trump campaign investigation again.
Prosecutors say that they were discussing “new” details about their “ongoing criminal investigation” into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election as well as possible coordination with the Trump campaign, according to CNN.
It almost sounds as if Trump isn’t just the subject of the investigation anymore.
“Disclosing the identified transcript portions would reveal substantive evidence pertaining to an ongoing investigation … In addition, sealing will minimize any risk of prejudice from the disclosure of new information relating to that ongoing investigation,” Mueller’s team wrote in the court filing. “The government’s concerns would continue until the relevant aspect of the investigation is revealed publicly, if that were to occur.”
Ellis, a Ronald Reagan appointee, has given prosecutors issues, but it looks like there was a meeting of minds, considering there is “substantial evidence” that needs to be kept under wraps.
And this is probably why Trump is lashing out at black athletes who choose to silently protest against racial inequality and police abuse. He’s trying to distract the public.