Rick Gates cancels trip due to threat invoking Russian mafia
Former Trump campaign deputy Rick Gates told a federal court Thursday afternoon that he and his wife believe it’s “not prudent” for them to take their four children on a trip to Boston, after feeling threatened by an online commenter who invoked the Russian mafia.
A Boston Globe report on Gates’ scheduled trip, planned for next week and approved by Judge Amy Berman Jackson, “generated comments on the internet, some of which were of a threatening character,” Gates’ attorney said in a court filing.
Following his guilty plea and agreement to cooperate in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation last Friday, Gates had asked to take his family to Boston for spring break to learn about the Revolutionary War.
He is only allowed outside of the Washington, DC, and Richmond, Virginia, areas, where his lawyers are based and where he lives, with special permission from the judge.
Gates’ attorney said Thursday that Gates hoped for permission to travel with a different itinerary. The judge approved. The filing did not say when or where the requested trip would take place.
One Globe reader posted two comments referencing possible violence against Gates in response to an online Boston Globe story published February 26 and titled “Following guilty plea in Mueller probe, Rick Gates plans to visit Boston.” The comments suggested Russians living in Boston could be angry with Gates, if Mueller targeted them in his probe.
The Globe late Thursday blocked the two comments.
Also on Thursday, a federal judge in Virginia formally dismissed criminal charges pending there against Gates. Prosecutors had sought the dismissal as part of Gates’ plea bargain.
Gates’ co-defendant Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, has maintained his innocence while he faces federal criminal charges brought by Mueller’s team in Washington, DC. Manafort will appear in court in Virginia Friday afternoon to enter a plea in that case, which alleges that Manafort committed bank fraud and tax crimes in a decade-long scheme built upon his Ukrainian political lobbying work.