Paul Manafort’s former right-hand man, Rick Gates, is somehwere in a private room with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, doing his Minnie Ripperton impression—singing in his best four-octave coloratura soprano and hitting all the high notes, even the ones that only dolphins—or Mariah Carey—can interpret.
And it’s a song so beautiful that Mueller doesn’t want anyone else to hear it.
CNN reports that on Thursday, Mueller’s team asked in a court filing that a conversation that took place between trial attorneys and Judge T. S. Ellis be kept secret. The conversation was in regards to a question Gates was asked, and if the transcript of said conversation were to be seen by anyone else, it would “reveal details of the ongoing conversation.”
Gates pleaded guilty and flipped on Manafort way back in February after Mueller filed a 32-count indictment against them, charging them with tax and bank fraud. Since then, Gates has been cooperating with Mueller’s team in both the case against Manafort as well as the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. While it is unclear just how much information he has provided to the Mueller Russia investigation, this latest court filing would lead one to believe that he’s dropped some mighty big information nuggets.
On Tuesday, defense attorney Kevin Downing asked Gates if he had been questioned “on several occasions” about his “time at the Trump campaign.” Before Gates could answer, prosecuting attorney Greg Andres raised an objection to the question, resulting in the attorneys and Judge Ellis engaging in a sidebar conversation as to whether or not the question could be asked.
The special counsel’s team say they discussed new details pertaining to the ongoing Russian interference investigation and wrote in their filing “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. The government’s concerns would continue until the relevant aspect of the investigation is revealed publicly, if that were to occur.”
So what has Gates told them? He acted as a deputy to Manafort on the Trump campaign and was part of both the transition and presidential inauguration teams. He has obviously seen and heard a lot.
What did he say?
As The Root’s Senior Editor Stephen A. Crockett Jr. said to me in Slack earlier, “Rick Gates is about to tell us who shot Kennedy and what the Obamas really gave the Trumps when they left the White House. Rick Gates knows who’s holding Donna now. Rick Gates knows what you would do if your son was at home crying all alone on the bedroom floor, ‘cause he’s hungry, and the only way to feed him is to sleep with a man for a little bit of money.”
In the words of Lil Wayne, “Ok, you’re a goon but what’s a goon to goblin?”
Rick Gates knows, and he’s telling the Robert Mueller.
We’re taking rumors, speculation, and conjecture in the comments. Give us what you got.