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Mueller Team Reportedly Wants Rick Gates’ Cooperation on the Issue of Potential Collusion

A new report tonight says the special counsel’s office has been talking with Rick Gates about getting his cooperation on what he knows about potential Russian collusion.

Yesterday news came out that both Gates and Paul Manafort kept in touch with an associate of Manafort’s who had an “ongoing relationship with Russian intelligence,” and Gates was apparently very aware of that fact.

But tonight, CNN is reporting that Mueller’s team is pursuing the collusion angle with Gates:

In a court filing earlier this week, the public saw the first signs of how the Mueller team plans to use information from Gates to tie Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman, directly to a Russian intelligence agency. Mueller’s team alleges that Gates was in contact with a close colleague of Manafort’s who worked for a Russian intelligence agency — and that Gates knew of the spy service ties in September and October 2016, while he worked on the Trump campaign. Gates would have to talk about the communication with the man if prosecutors wanted, according to his plea deal.

That’s in line with what prosecutors told Gates months ago during high-stakes negotiations, CNN has learned. They told him they didn’t need his cooperation against Manafort, according to a person familiar with the investigation, and instead wanted to hear what he knew about contact between the Trump campaign and Russians.

Gates pled guilty last month and is now apparently cooperating with the Mueller investigation.

[image via Andrew Burton / Getty Images]

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Follow Josh Feldman on Twitter: @feldmaniac