‘We’ll Be Taken Care of’ — Manafort Tried To Convince Gates Not To Take Plea Deal
Among the many revelations that were previously unknown before the release of the Mueller report on Thursday morning is that President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort fully expected to be “taken care of” due to his loyalty to the president.
Manafort made that assumption, articulating it to his longtime business associate Rick Gates, based off of conversations he had with the president’s personal counsel, the report said.
The report compiled by the team of investigators led by special counsel Robert Mueller provides insight into the conversation between Manafort and Gates regarding the possibility of the latter individual making a plea agreement with the special counsel. In February 2018, Gates made such a plea deal, pleading guilty and and cooperating with the investigation, according to reporting from CNN that year.
According to the Mueller report, however, just one month prior to Gates’s plea deal, Manafort had been trying to convince him not to cooperate by suggesting the administration would help them.
Mueller: Manafort told Gates that Trump's personal lawyer told him that "we'll be taken care of," though the lawyer didn't specifically use the word pardon, and that it'd therefore be stupid to plead guilty. pic.twitter.com/bGb441dJUx
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) April 18, 2019
The report details their exchange:
In January 2018, Manafort told Gates that he had talked to the President’s personal counsel and they were ‘going to take care of us.’ Manafort told Gates it was stupid to plead, saying that he had been in touch with the President’s personal counsel and repeating that they should ‘sit tight’ and ‘we’ll be taken care of.’ Gates asked Manafort outright if anyone mentioned pardons and Manafort said no one used that word.
It’s unclear whether Manafort expected a pardon or not, but the Mueller report makes it clear that he was expecting some aid from the president in reverence to his loyalty to Trump, and for not cooperating with the inquiry.
Manafort served for a brief period as the president’s campaign manager during Trump’s 2016 run for president. Gates served as deputy campaign manager as well.