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Rick Gates charged in Mueller’s Russia probe: Who is he?

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Richard Gates, a business associate of President Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, is facing additional charges of  tax evasion and bank fraud.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian meddling into the 2016 presidential election, filed a 32-count indictment on Feb. 22 against Gates and Manafort.

Gates, 45, is accused of 11 counts related to filing false income tax returns and three counts of failure to report foreign bank and financial accounts.

Manafort, 68, is charged with five counts related to filing false income tax returns and four of failing to report foreign bank and financial accounts.

Both men are accused of nine counts of bank fraud and conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

Prosecutors claim the men doctored documents to inflate the income of their businesses, then used those fraudulent documents to obtain loans. They also accuse Manafort of evading taxes from 2010 through 2014, and in some of those years concealing his foreign bank accounts.

The charges against Manafort and Gates don’t relate to any allegations of misconduct related to Trump’s 2016 campaign.

The two men were initially charged in a 12-count indictment last October that accused them of a multimillion-dollar money-laundering conspiracy tied to their foreign lobbying work. They are accused of directing a covert Washington lobbying campaign on behalf of pro-Russian Ukrainian interests.

Manafort and Gates pleaded not guilty to the initial charges.

Who is Rick Gates?

FILE - In this July 21, 2016 file photo, Rick Gates, campaign aide to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.  Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and a former business associate, Rick Gates, have been told to surrender to federal authorities Monday, according to reports and a person familiar with the matter.(AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Richard Gates is a former campaign aide to President Donald Trump.

 (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Gates is a protégée of Manafort, a June New York Times report said.

Gates, too, worked for the Trump campaign – and outlasted Manafort. Like Manafort, Gates helped wrangle delegates at the high-stakes 2016 Republican National Convention.

The onetime deputy campaign manager also helped start the nonprofit America First Policies (AFP), created to help advance the White House’s agenda. But Gates eventually left the group, reportedly due to his ties to Manafort.

However, the group recently received a request from the special counsel’s office to retain its records for possible production for that office, Fox News has learned.

Erin Montgomery, a spokesperson for AFP, distanced the nonprofit from Gates. 

“We believe it is important to clarify that Rick Gates’ association with America First Policies was informal and limited, and, as noted in press reports, ended around March of this year,” Montgomery told Fox News. 

TRUMP AND THE RUSSIA INVESTIGATION: WHAT TO KNOW

But even after leaving the nonprofit, Gates still visited the White House multiple times, the Daily Beast reported in June. The publication added that Gates is disliked by Trump.

How is he connected to the Russia investigation?

During Manafort’s work with Ukraine, Gates would fly to Moscow to take meetings with Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, The New York Times reported. And Gates’ name has appeared on documents linked to companies that Manafort’s firm has set up to receive payments in Eastern Europe, according to the newspaper.

“Everything was done legally and with the approval of our lawyers,” Gates has told The Times. “Nothing to my knowledge was ever done inappropriately.”

Gates was also involved in a 2011 Ukranian racketeering lawsuit that also named Manafort.

Gates pleaded not guilty to the initial charges on Oct. 30. 

“He welcomes the opportunity to confront these charges in court,” Glenn Selig, a spokesman for Gates, told Fox News.

“This fight is just beginning,” Selig added.

Fox News’ Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Brooke Singman, James Rosen, Jodie Curtis and Samuel Chamberlain contributed to this report. The Associated Press also contributed to this report.

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Boris shows up EU: PM plays diplomat in Covid row while EU lashes out in ferocious strop

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BORIS JOHNSON refused to be drawn into a war of words with the European Union as he was quizzed on the trading bloc’s demand for some of the UK’s vaccine supply.

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Spain vaccine crisis: Madrid cancels rollout for TWO WEEKS – millions won't receive jab

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SPANISH regions have been forced to halt their vaccination programmes in another sign that the European Union’s scheme is failing.

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Foundation linked to Biden pick for cybersecurity gave $500,000 to pro-Israel lobby AIPAC

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WASHINGTON — A family foundation linked to President Joe Biden’s senior director for cyber policy on the White House National Security Council donated more than half a million dollars in recent years to the main pro-Israel lobbying group in Washington, according to public records.

The donations, first reported by David Corn of Mother Jones magazine, do not appear to pose a legal issue, but some current and former national security officials told NBC News they risk creating the possible appearance of bias in favor of Israel by a top American official. While Israel is a close American ally, it operates in its own interest and aggressively spies on the U.S., including using cyber capabilities, current and former officials say.

Other current and former officials disagreed, saying they do not think the donations pose a problem.

The lobbying group, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, describes itself as a “bipartisan American organization that advocates for a strong U.S.-Israeli relationship.” Most Republicans and many Democrats are closely allied with the group, while other Democrats are not.

The official, Anne Neuberger, recently was named senior director for cyber policy on the National Security Council. She spent the last decade at the National Security Agency, the Pentagon’s digital spying arm, where she worked her way up the ranks to become head of a newly created cybersecurity directorate.

Neuberger did not immediately respond to email and phone messages.

A spokeswoman for the National Security Council declined to answer detailed questions about the matter, saying, “As a senior NSC employee, Ms. Neuberger will abide by the Executive Order on Ethics Commitments By Executive Branch Personnel.”

It’s not clear Neuberger would have been required to disclose contributions by her family foundation as part of her ethics or security clearance reviews — so it’s not known whether the Biden team vetted the donations. Although the donations are listed in public tax filings available on the web, some effort is required to find them.

The daughter of billionaire investor George Karfunkel, Neuberger is an officer of a foundation named for her and her husband, the Yehuda and Anne Neuberger Foundation.

The foundation was created 12 years ago to “carry out the charitable and religious purposes of the Associated Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore,” according to its tax records. Neither Neuberger nor her husband received any compensation from the nonprofit.

From 2012 through 2018 — the last year for which tax records for the foundation are available — the Neuberger foundation donated $559,000 to AIPAC, tax record show. In a separate part of the forms, the foundation reports spending that exact amounts of its AIPAC donations under the category of spending for lobbying “to influence a legislative body” or “to influence public opinion,” A nonprofit charitable foundation is allowed to donate to a lobbying organization if the amount is a limited percentage of its overall giving.

A cross section of current and former intelligence officials and foreign policy experts — none of whom were willing to be named — said the donations created an appearance problem. They noted that Israel, whose companies build and sell spying gear to regimes abroad and whose intelligence agencies hack foreign governments around the world, has a big stake in American cyber policy.

Two of the sources interviewed who know Neuberger say she is a person of high integrity. Nonetheless, installing a top cyber official in the White House who has strong ties to an organization that represents the interests of the Israeli government could cause some people to question the impartiality of the policy process, they said.

“If you donate half a million dollars to a lobbying group, that indicates a pretty strong preference,” said one senior Congressional aide who oversees national security issues.

“One question this presents is whether she would recuse herself from decisions that could impact Israel,” said a foreign policy expert with close ties to the Biden team.

The donations “would raise a lot of eyebrows within the government and beyond, one former senior intelligence official said, “especially since the two dimensions involved — Israel and cyber — have their own history.”

A second former senior intelligence official added, “Is this disqualifying? Probably not. But it’s not good.”

One current intelligence official and one congressional aide disagreed, saying the donations alone are not problematic because AIPAC is a mainstream organization and Israel is an ally.

The Trump administration emphasized its close alignment with the Israeli government, moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and cutting off relations with Palestinian officials. The Biden administration has announced its intention to restore relations with the Palestinians.

While the Neuberger Foundation donations to AIPAC have not previously been reported, news stories have detailed her husband’s role as chair of AIPAC’s Baltimore executive council. In 2011, Rabbi Steven Weil, the executive vice president of the Orthodox Union, hailed his “outstanding reputation as a leader of AIPAC.” Four years later, as part of a concerted AIPAC effort, Yehuda Neuberger lobbied Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., to oppose the multilateral Iran nuclear deal the Obama White House had negotiated.

According to The Wall Street Journal, U.S. intelligence agencies determined that Israel spied on talks among the U.S. and its allies over the Iran nuclear deal, in an effort to stop it.

AIPAC has long been dogged by criticism that it operates as a virtual arm of the Israeli government. In 2009, the Justice Department decided to drop espionage charges against two AIPAC officials who had been accused of spying for Israel. Officials cited court rulings that they said made the case unwinnable and fears that the trial would disclose classified information.

A spokesperson for AIPAC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.



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