AP source: Former Trump campaign official Rick Gates expected to plead guilty in Russia probe

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 11: Richard Gates arrives at the Prettyman Federal Courthouse for a hearing December 11, 2017 in Washington, DC. Gates and his former business partner former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort both pleaded not guilty Monday to a 12-charge indictment that included money laundering and conspiracy. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON DC — Former Trump campaign official Rick Gates expected to plead guilty in Mueller’s Russia probe.

Gates can expect “a substantial reduction in his sentence,” to likely about 18 months in prison if he cooperates with the investigation, according to the LA Times report. He is also likely going to have to forfeit any cash or valuables obtained through his alleged illegal activity.

Gates has told associates he had hoped for outside assistance from a legal defense fund, but deep-pocketed GOP donors have shown little interest in helping either Gates or Manafort cover their legal fees, two sources said.

Once a plea deal is in place, Gates would become yet another known cooperator in Mueller’s sprawling probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

It would also increase the pressure to cooperate on Gates’ co-defendant Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, who has pleaded not guilty to Mueller’s indictment and is preparing for a trial on alleged financial crimes unrelated to the campaign. Gates pleaded not guilty on October 30 alongside Manafort.