Rick Gates, an embattled former campaign aide to President Trump, has added a veteran Washington defense attorney to his legal team to oversee discussions with the special counsel investigating possible collusion with Russia.
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The lawyer, Thomas Green, is an expert white-collar defense attorney with a long track record of negotiating plea deals with federal prosecutors.
Gates, who was among the first aides charged in the probe, is facing a range of criminal financial charges in connection with his overseas work with Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman. He has pleaded not guilty.
Gates has changed and added lawyers several times since becoming a target of special counsel Robert Mueller, using a public defender at his initial appearance after firing his lawyer just prior to his arrest.
Gates came to the Trump campaign by way of Manafort, his longtime boss in the private sector. During the campaign, Gates ultimately served as deputy campaign manager, and post-election worked on the president's inauguration committee, serving as the chief deputy to inauguration chairman Tom Barrack, a longtime personal friend of President Trump. Gates was working for Barrack just prior to his indictment.
Green has a long track record of helping clients negotiate deals.
In 1974, when Green was 33 years old, he landed a client involved in the Watergate scandal — Robert C. Mardian, the one-time attorney for President Richard Nixon’s Committee to Re-Elect the President. Mardian’s initial conviction on conspiracy-to-obstruct-justice charges was overturned on appeal.
A former D.C. federal prosecutor himself, Green has represented a long succession of high profile political clients in well-known political scandals, such as Iran Contra and the Keating Five. Most recently he led the legal defense of House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who was sentenced in 2016 to 15 months for payoffs made to cover up sex abuse allegations.