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Rick Gates, BOY WONDER!


Here's a PSA, kids: DO NOT LIE TO THE FBI. No, not even if you really don't want to tell the truth and are pretty sure you're smarter than Johnny Law. Just don't. Like, EVER.

Exhibit A: Rick Gates, who has just pleaded guilty to conspiracy against the United States and making a False Statement to the FBI.

Let's acknowledge at the outset that Gates is a fucking moron. And not just because he left a paper trail a mile wide of the one million financial crimes he committed with Paul Manafort, ALLEGEDLY. And not just because he went into business with Paul Manafort, the sleaziest of sleazeballs, FACT. But even knowing Robert Mueller had all of his boss's hard drives, Gates was still lying to him three weeks ago ABOUT A WRITTEN DOCUMENT.

WTF, Dude!

For weeks we've been hearing that a plea deal was imminent for Gates. Over the course of several sealed hearings, Gates's lawyers Shanlon Wu, Walter Mack, and Annemarie McAvoy asked to be removed from the case for "irreconcilable differences."

Yesterday the court finally approved their withdrawal, and Gates's new lawyer Tom Green entered an appearance. But no one heard about it because ...

Yesterday Robert Mueller dropped a 32-count indictment on the swashbucklingest, most tech-savvy money launderers in all of Northern Virginia! As Wonkette's own Evan Hurst detailed this morning, Manafort's trusty sidekick Rick was always down to falsify a loan application, sign those bogus tax returns, and pretend to have maxed out Uncle Pauly's credit card when the bank came calling. Nothing could come between them.

Well, nothing but the FBI. Because when Lil' Ricky went to talk to them at the beginning of this month, he might have made a little fib.

See, he told Mr. Mueller that Manafort and the Ukrainian lobbyist never did discuss Ukraine with no Member of Congress in March of 2013. NO SIR! But in fact they had discussed Ukraine, and Gates knew it because he helped write the report for their Russian-backed Ukrainian clients saying, "We just met with the Russia-lovingest fascist in the United States Congress. And he is PSYCHED for you guys to throw that Tymoshenko woman in jail and prop up that Yanukovych dude that Putin likes."

Can you guess who the congressman was?

Dana Rohrabacher (R-Putin)

Ayup, it was Rohrabacher. The one the House Majority Leader joked was "paid by Russia" har har. And a week later, Manafort made a nice contribution to Rohrabacher's campaign. As one does.

So far, so grifty. If you guessed that Gates was negotiating to avoid jail time and finally tapped out when Mueller dropped those indictments yesterday, you're probably right. But let's step back and take a guess at what's going on behind the scenes here.

On February 1, Gates's lawyers moved to withdraw from the case, citing irreconcilable differences. They entered their motion about 10 minutes after Gates had his "Queen for a Day" with the FBI. That's the proffer interview, where a witness lays all his cards on the table and says to the prosecutor, "What will you give me for this?"

Now in normal circumstances, a witness can't be prosecuted for what he says during the proffer. But he can lose that immunity if he lies. WHICH HE DID. Meaning that whatever he said during that interview might be used to prosecute him.

And in normal circumstances, lawyers aren't allowed to pull out in the middle of a case. But if, say, you know your client lied to the FBI, you have an ethical obligation to withdraw. And you have to balance that obligation with attorney-client privilege. Thus, the "noisy withdrawal," where the attorney is allowed to breach the privilege and tell the judge in chambers that she needs to be excused from the case because her client has been less than wholly truthful.

And look at this thread from your favorite lawyer Renato Mariotti from February 1!

Boy, that guy is SMART! All the Illinois Wonkers should vote for him to be the next AG!

But back to Gates. We don't know for sure what happened here, but if your eyes glazed over during the TL;DR, our working theory is this:

  • Gates lied to the FBI on February 1 during plea negotiations.
  • His lawyers shit a brick and immediately moved to withdraw.
  • Because of the lie, Gates lost immunity from prosecution for whatever he said during plea negotiations.
  • Gates is a FUCKING FOOL.

We haven't worked out yet why that meeting with Rohrabacher was incriminating enough to lie about, but it sure is an interesting question, huh?

Okay, batten down the hatches Wonkers. Emperor Dementia 'bout to lose his shit on Twitter when he realizes that Gates is singing like a canary. Shit's gonna get weird.

Follow your FDF on Twitter!

Please money us! We never lie to the FBI!

[Criminal Information]

Five Dollar Feminist

Your FDF lives in Baltimore under an assumed identity as an upstanding member of the PTA. Shhh, don't tell anyone she makes swears on the internet!

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Guys, it's been one more shit day in a shit week in the fifth shit month of another shit Trump year. Which is why I need to remind you that it's not ALL shit out there! Oh, sure, it's MOSTLY shit, but you know what isn't shit? YR WONKETTE, and the strange community of strange internet people who have made getting through all this shit a bit more tolerable, that's who and what. Which is why you should give us money, so we can keep whanging away at the walls of shit with our shovels and laughing at the shit getting all over, because one of these days we will get it all cleaned up or at least not be up to our waists in shit, and we can all laugh about what a crazy fight it was, as St. Molly Ivins always kept reminding us.

In case you're new here, let me just remind you that Wonkette literally got me, Yr Dok Zoom, out of what wasn't quite poverty, but was pretty much paycheck-to-paycheck desperation. I started reading the site shortly before Barack Obama was elected, began commenting sometime in his first term, and submitted a story tip to Rebecca a few months after she bought the site for 47 dollars and a sandwich (I now understand it was a bit more than that). It was Memorial Day 2012, and she wrote back she was busy with some "stupid thing I have to do for some muneez," but would I like to try writing a blog post myself? "I understand if you say FUCK NO. But maybe you are thinking FUCK YES?" And then she warned me she paid only in Ameros. I did, the post was forgettable but OK, and then I wrote a thing (borrowed from now long-lost comments) that went semi-viral, and suddenly I was that hottest thing in publishing, a freelancer!

In less than a year, Rebecca asked you all to buy me to be your very own pet blogger, and my life suddenly became incredibly good, like as good as an Abba song. It's as good as "Dancing Queen." Thanks to the timing of the whole thing (and to Barry Obama and Nancy Pelosi), I actually had health insurance for the first time in years, a not inconsiderable thing. And you had an Editrix who was not working 12 hour days six and a half days a week and drinking too much from stress. Your continued donations helped hire Evan full time and Robyn and Bianca part time and a whole raft of freelancers, and now Rebecca is down to eight-hour days, five and a half days a week, and drinking because there's a madman in the White House and everything's terrible.

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There is a very normal article circulating on the internet right now by a fella named Don Boys (that's not the joke, the jokes are coming), who is both an insane batshit preacher, and also an insane batshit former member of the Indiana House of Representatives. (Also sometimes he blogs at the Daily Caller about how Mike Pence really went balls deep into the gay agenda when he swore in that insane batshit gay guy Rick Grenell as America's ambassador to Germany.)

This article, of course, is about Pete Buttigieg, because what are anti-gay buffoons obsessed with right now? Pete Buttigieg. Boys (still his name) is primarily concerned not with the simple fact that Buttigieg is gay, but with how gay Buttigieg really is. IN THE SEX WAY!

Well, Don, since you asked!

Shall we dive into this thing without the proper prophylactics? We shall.

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