Former Donald Trump campaign aide Rick Gates will get out of house arrest so he can attend “events” to celebrate the new year.
Gates, former lobbying partner and deputy of Trump’s ex-campaign chairman Paul Manafort — who’s also under house arrest — won permission from U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson on Thursday to get out of house arrest for the New Year’s holiday. He won the reprieve even while his attorneys are explaining in another court action why Gates’ appearance in a fundraising video didn’t violate a gag order.
Gates pleaded not guilty in October to multiple charges — including money laundering and failing to register as an agent of a foreign government — brought as part of the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller into Russian interference into the U.S. presidential election.
No details about Gates’ planned New Year’s activities were provided in the court documents. His attorneys simply requested court permission allowing Gates to “accompany his family to events for the New Year’s holiday from Sunday, December 31, 2017 through Monday, January 1, 2018.” He will stay in Virginia, within 60 miles of his home, and will continue to be monitored by a GPS device, according to the documents.
Earlier, Gates had asked the court to let him travel with his family outside of Virginia, which the court denied.
Jackson also denied a request from Gates in November to leave his home to drive his children to school.
Gates’ attorneys appeared in court Wednesday explaining why a video that Gates appeared in earlier this month is not a violation of a gag order. Gates — and Manafort — had been ordered to “refrain from making statements to the media or in public settings that pose a substantial likelihood of material prejudice to this case.”
In the video, Gates thanked those attending a fundraiser to help him with his legal fees. The fundraiser was hosted by conservative media personality Jack Burkman, who insisted that Gates was a “victim of a very unfair prosecution.” Burkman, who also works as a GOP lobbyist, has called for Mueller to be fired.
Attorneys argued that Burkman was not speaking on Gates’ behalf, Politico reported, even though he was raising funds for him.