Looks like we finally have an answer as to why Prosecutors objected to the Manafort’s defense team line of questioning regarding Gates’ time on the Trump team. Gates is apparently also involved as a witness for them in the ongoing investigation of the Trump campaign. It will be interesting to eventually know what all he confessed to having knowledge about, with respect to his time on the campaign and transition.
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team told the court they want to keep a discussion regarding Rick Gates secret because releasing the transcript of the conversation would “reveal details of the ongoing investigation.”
The discussion took place Tuesday afternoon and involved the trial attorneys and Judge T.S. Ellis.
The still-secret conversation occurred in the middle of former Trump deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates’ testimony against his longtime boss Paul Manafort.
Defense attorney Kevin Downing asked Gates: “Were you interviewed on several occasions about your time at the Trump campaign?”
Prosecutor Greg Andres objected to the question before Gates could answer.
The lawyers and Ellis then huddled in the far corner of the courtroom to discuss whether the question could be asked. The overhead noise machine was turned on so that Gates, the jury and the public in the courtroom couldn’t hear what they said.
Ellis called for a break in the proceedings immediately after the short discussion ended, and Downing tried to ask about the Trump campaign investigation again.
During the discussion, the prosecutors now say they discussed “new” details about their “ongoing criminal investigation” into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible coordination with the Trump campaign.
Gates is required to help with that investigation as needed and with the prosecution of Manafort, per his plea agreement.
Gates testified for three days against Manafort this week.
“Disclosing the identified transcript portions would reveal substantive evidence pertaining to an ongoing investigation … In addition, sealing will minimize any risk of prejudice from the disclosure of new information relating to that ongoing investigation,” the special counsel’s team wrote.
“The government’s concerns would continue until the relevant aspect of the investigation is revealed publicly, if that were to occur,” prosecutors wrote in a court filing Thursday.