Paul Manafort’s ‘Right-Hand Man’

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Trump’s former deputy campaign manager Rick Gates may lack the name recognition of his longtime boss, but he was a key player in Paul Manafort’s criminal scheme, according to the federal indictment released on Oct. 30.

Gates’ work with Manafort dates back to the 1980s, when he arrived as an intern at Manafort’s political consulting firm. His role grew from there: the indictment lays out a range of his dubious duties, from arranging a fake document to help his boss secure more favorable terms on a loan to conveying messages from former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to D.C. lobbying and public-affairs firms.

Much like his mentor, Gates is said to have improperly used overseas funds to support a lavish lifestyle. He used the tax-free windfall to pay his mortgage, revamp his $1.9 million home and pay his children’s tuition.

Despite Gates’ role as Manafort’s “right-hand man,” the Richmond, Va.–based operative flew under the radar. He stayed on with the Trump campaign after Manafort was booted in August 2016, working through the election with campaign officials and the Republican National Committee. Later, he moved to a pro-Trump group, America First Policies, before joining a company run by Trump friend and fellow billionaire Tom Barrack. He was fired after the indictment.

Like Manafort, Gates, 45, pleaded not guilty to all charges.

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