Rick Gates ousted from job as top consultant to Trump pal

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Rick Gates, who was indicted on Monday along with Paul Manafort, as a result of the Russian probe, was reportedly terminated from his job as a consultant at a real estate company Tuesday. The company, Colony NorthStar Inc., is led by billionaire chairman Thomas Barrack, a longtime friend and advisor to President Trump.

Gates was fired following a 12-count indictment levied against him and Manafort that includes charges of money laundering, tax fraud, and illegal foreign lobbying, Bloomberg reported.

Hired in March as a consultant to advise the company regarding its data centers, radio towers, and media, Barrack told reporters that Gates’ week-to-week employment was subject to termination on 24 hours’ notice.

Barrack had been working alongside Gates since the election when he reportedly hired him to be a part of the inauguration committee.

Gates, 45, also served as Manafort’s deputy on the Trump campaign. The two have worked together since the mid-2000s.

Both men pleaded not guilty before U.S. District Magistrate Judge Deborah Robinson on Monday afternoon. Gates was represented by a public defender. The charges are related to work Manafort and Gates did on behalf of a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine.

The judge ordered home confinement for both and set bond at $10 million for Manafort and $5 million for Gates. As defendants, they are required to check in with law enforcement daily by phone; they will only be allowed to leave their homes to see attorneys and appear at court, or for medical and religious necessities.

Barrack told reporters that he knew Gates to be “competent, capable and reliable,” but would not comment further.

Mueller alleges that Manafort and Gates were paid tens of millions of dollars and laundered the money “in order to hide Ukraine payments from United States authorities.”

A spokesman for Gates said this “fight is just beginning” after the plea was entered.

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