Robert Mueller may have just found the soft spot to force Rick Gates to flip on Paul Manafort

Rick Gates is best known as the other Donald Trump campaign adviser who got arrested this week, after the higher profile arrest of Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort grabbed the bulk of the headlines. Based on new details surfacing about the legal cases against them, the two men are closely intertwined financially, meaning Gates could flip rather authoritatively on Manafort. Now it turns out Gates may have to flip on Manafort in order to save his own wife.

Manafort and Gates were both arrested on charges of laundering money from Russia into the United States, as payment they had received for getting a Kremlin puppet elected in Ukraine. That money was funneled through Bank of Cyprus, which is now cooperating with the Trump-Russia investigation. Gates has dozens of bank accounts and may have been hiding tens of millions of dollars in assets, according to a report from the Washington Post (link), which also contains this vital sentence: “In August, his wife transferred more than $1 million to a joint brokerage account.”

If it can be demonstrated that Rick Gates’ wife knew this money was dirty at the time she transferred $1 million of it from Bank of Cyprus to the United States, then she can be charged with money laundering or related crimes as well. She could avoid charges by flipping on her husband, who would then be backed into a corner and have little choice but to flip on Manafort. Alternately, Gates could keep his wife out of prison by flipping on Manafort.

This may in fact be why Rick Gates’ wife hasn’t yet been arrested. Special Counsel Robert Mueller may be giving Gates the opportunity to cut a deal that would protect his wife, while also threatening to arrest his wife if that deal isn’t reached promptly. It quite a giveaway that Mueller’s filings against Rick Gates include the detail about his wife. If Gates flips on Manafort, then Manafort will have to flip on Donald Trump.

Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report