>> Why are you pleading guilty? Why are you pleading guilty?>> A former top aid to Donald Trump's presidential campaign has pleaded guilty to federal charges and is cooperating with prosecutors investigating Russian meddling in the US election. Rick Gates, former deputy campaign manager for Trump, admitted to conspiring against the US and lying to investigators.
Under the charges, he faces a maximum sentence of nearly six years, but depending on the extent of his cooperation, he may serve less time. Gates served alongside former campaign chair, Paul Manafort, also indicted by special counsel, Robert Mueller. Reuters US Diplomatic Correspondent, Warren Strobel.>> So I think the main significance of Gates pleading guilty is that it puts more pressure on his business partner Paul Manafort.
And from what we know Mueller is not talking, but from what we know he appears to be pursuing a strategy to put maximum pressure on Manafort to also plead to charges and to cooperate with his investigation.>> Prosecutors allege that Manafort, with Gates' assistance, laundered more than $30 million and duped banks into lending money.
It says the pair used funds from secret offshore accounts to enjoy a life of luxury. Mueller this week filed dozens of new charges against the two, but so far none of them accuse the pair of collusion with Moscow. Manafort holding firm in his statement Friday, saying, I had hoped and expected my business colleague would have had the strength to continue the battle to prove our innocence.
Gates's plea deal appeared to be motivated by his concern on the toll it would take on his family. In a letter obtained by ABC News, he wrote, the reality of how long this legal process will likely take, the cost, and the circus-like atmosphere of an anticipated trial are too much.
I will better serve my family moving forward by exiting this process.