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Ex-Trump aide Gates still helping in ‘several ongoing investigations,’ Mueller team says

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By Tom Winter and Pete Williams

Former Donald Trump campaign aide Rick Gates is still cooperating in “several ongoing investigations,” defense lawyers and federal prosecutors said Friday, suggesting probes stemming from special counsel Robert Mueller’s inquiry into Russia’s election interference remain active.

The details were contained in court papers requesting a further postponement of the sentencing for Gates, who pleaded guilty last February to financial fraud and lying to investigators.

“Defendant Gates continues to cooperate with respect to several ongoing investigations, and accordingly the parties do not believe it is appropriate to commence the sentencing process at this time,” the court filing says, requesting that the two sides be given 60 days to provide an update.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson granted the request, setting a date of May 14 for the defense lawyers and prosecutors to file another joint status report.

The court papers mark the fifth time the two sides have asked Jackson to hold off on Gates’ sentencing by citing his continued cooperation in multiple investigations.

Gates, who served as Trump’s deputy campaign chairman and deputy chairman of the Trump inaugural committee, agreed to cooperate with Mueller’s prosecutors after pleading guilty to hiding money he earned from lobbying work on behalf of pro-Russian groups in the Ukraine.

Gates, who is facing up to six years in prison under the terms of his cooperation deal, was the star witness in the financial fraud trial of his longtime partner Paul Manafort. During Manafort’s trial in federal court in Virginia, Gates admitted to tax fraud, extramarital affairs and embezzling money from his former boss and mentor.

Manafort, 69, has been sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for charges brought by Mueller’s office in federal courts in Washington, D.C., and Virginia. The longtime GOP operative has also been charged by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office in an alleged multimillion-dollar mortgage fraud scheme.

Rich Schapiro contributed.



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Politics

Brexit extension EXPLAINED: Which is most likely – two, three months, one or two years?

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MPS have voted to back an extension on Article 50 – effectively asking for a delay to Brexit. But how long could the delay be?

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No deal Brexit plans get MAJOR BOOST – UK agrees £30bn agreement with Iceland and Norway

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THE UK’s Trade Secretary boosted no deal Brexit plans by announcing a new trade agreement with the two Scandinavian countries as the Government looks to secure 39 EU trade deals before Brexit day.

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Booker denounces Trump’s rhetoric as ‘causing pain and fear’

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By Ludwig Hurtado

Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker said in an interview set to air Monday night that President Donald Trump’s rhetoric “hurts people” and is “causing pain and fear.”

“Racists think he’s racist, and his language hurts people,” the New Jersey senator said when asked by MSNBC’s “Hardball” host Chris Matthews if he believes Trump is racist. “His language is causing pain and fear. The way he’s talking is making people afraid.”

In making the criticism, Booker, who spoke with Matthews while in Davenport, Iowa, referenced an increase in hate crimes around the country, saying, “people are afraid to go worship at a mosque or a synagogue because hate is on the rise, and these hate incidents are rising.”

“We have a president that can’t stand up with any moral authority and remind us that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere and it’s despicable,” he added.

Booker’s comments come in the wake of the New Zealand mosque massacre on Friday, in which a white supremacist allegedly killed 50 people. The alleged shooter wrote in an apparent manifesto that he supported Trump “as a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose,” although he said he disagreed with his policies.

Trump, who has made inflammatory comments about immigrants, Muslims and white nationalists, condemned the shooting on Friday. But when asked if he believes white nationalist terrorism and violence is a rising concern globally, the president said, said, “I don’t really.” He added that he thinks “it’s a small group of people that have very, very serious problems.”

On Monday morning, Trump tweeted, “The Fake News Media is working overtime to blame me for the horrible attack in New Zealand. They will have to work very hard to prove that one. So Ridiculous!”

There have been several white nationalist or white supremacist attacks in the U.S. over the past few years, including the massacre of 11 worshippers at a Pittsburgh synagogue last fall and the murder of nine black churchgoers at a congregation in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015.

At a campaign event in Detroit on Monday, Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke also condemned Trump’s rhetoric.

“A president who calls Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals, a president who wants to ban all Muslim travel to the United States of America because, the implication being, Muslims are somehow more dangerous or violent than people of other traditions of faith, a president who calls Klansmen, and Nazis and white nationalists ‘very fine people’ is giving permission to others in this country and around the world to commit acts of hatred,” the former Texas congressman said.

Beto O’Rourke speaks with Chuck Todd in Iowa for “Meet The Press.”NBC News

O’Rourke noted that a mosque in his home state was burned to the ground on the day that Trump signed his Muslim travel ban.

“It’s not just the words,” O’Rourke said. “It’s the actions that follow.”

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney defended Trump during a pair of interviews on the Sunday political talk shows.

“You’ve seen the president stand up for religious liberty, individual liberty,” Mulvaney said on “Fox News Sunday.” “The president is not a white supremacist. I’m not sure how many times we have to say that. And to simply ask the question, every time something like this happens overseas, or even domestically, to say, ‘Oh, my goodness, it must somehow be the president’s fault,’ speaks to a politicization of everything that I think is undermining sort of the institutions that we have in the country today.”



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