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Special counsel Robert Mueller has filed additional criminal charges against President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman and his business associate.

Rick Gates, who worked as a top aide on Donald Trump's presidential campaign, will plead guilty Friday in the special counsel's probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Gates is also expected to fully cooperate with Mueller's investigation as a part of the guilty plea.

The new charges, which sweep up some information Gates has conceded to investigators and other information in charges filed Thursday in Virginia federal court, include money laundering, foreign lobbying violations and making false statements.

Gates' scheduled guilty plea comes a day after a federal grand jury in Virginia returned an indictment against him and former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort accusing them of tax evasion and bank fraud.

Manafort has pleaded not guilty and maintains his innocence.

Gates' apparent decision to cooperate with Mueller followed an unexpected and dramatic path, including a drawn-out effort to switch up his legal team and a new set of charges filed by Mueller that were revealed Thursday evening.

But his power and influence waned once Trump fired Manafort in August 2016 after The Associated Press disclosed how Gates and Manafort covertly directed a Washington lobbying campaign on behalf of Ukrainian interests.

Gates, who has a young family and who has been under house arrest, has been peppering the court since past year with requests to travel, coach his children's sports teams and attend school functions. Once Trump took office, Gates helped launch an allied group to support the president's agenda and was a regular visitor at the White House.

Cooperation by Gates, and potentially by Manafort at a later stage, could provide a rich vein of information for Mueller, whose Russian Federation probe includes looking into whether Trump's campaign colluded with Moscow to interfere in the election. The Times and ABC sourced their reports to unidentified people familiar with Gates' plea agreement. "As you know, we have been cooperative with the special counsel and as we continue to see, there's no evidence of collusion, no evidence of wrongdoing", Mercedes Schlapp, the White House strategic communications director, told Fox News Channel.

Gates did not comment as he left the courthouse Friday.

In March 2016, the same month he joined the campaign, Manafort fraudulently obtained a loan for over $3 million on a Manhattan condominium, prosecutors say.

The filing by Mueller outlined two counts that prosecutors were bringing against Gates in a "superseding information".

On the same day Gates allegedly lied to the FBI, Gates' entire defense team moved to withdraw from the case. Gates controlled as many as 30 bank accounts past year, including several in Cyprus in which he held more than $10 million, according to court documents.

In the October indictment, the special counsel alleged that Manafort and Gates laundered money for almost a decade through scores of US and foreign corporations and accounts, and gave false statements to the Justice Department and others when asked about their work on behalf of a foreign entity.

Jackson has imposed a gag order limiting public statements by the defendants and by the lawyers involved in the D.C. case.


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