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Recently the Mueller investigation into Russian interference in the U.S. filed some charges. There was an indictment of Paul Manafort and Rick Gates.

Paul Manafort is a familiar name to me. But who is Rick Gates? CNN merely labels him as a "campaign official". What was his role or position in the Trump campaign?

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As the following article perfectly fits your question, see:

Julia Glum, Who is Rick Gates? Meet the Trump Adviser Indicted with Paul Manafort in Mueller Investigation, Newsweek, 30 October 2017

The following stems from the article above.

Regarding the charges

  • along with Paul Manafort (Trump former campaign manager), is facing charges for conspiracy against the U.S., conspiracy to launder money, failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts, being unregistered agents of a foreign principal, and making false statements.
  • along with Manafort, accused of being unregistered agents of the government of Ukraine.
  • he and Manafort made tens of millions of dollars but hid the payments from American authorities by laundering the money through companies and accounts in countries like Cyprus and the Seychelles. Gates transferred more than $3 million from the accounts to other accounts he controlled, the indictment says.

More general

  • a colleague of Manafort's who joined the Trump team in spring 2016, according to Politico.
  • claims to have "over 15 years of international political, finance and business development experience working for multinational firms".
  • claims to have "worked on several U.S. presidential campaigns".
  • claims to have worked on "many international political campaigns in Europe and Africa".
  • as part of the Trump campaign, he traveled with the real estate tycoon and helped manage day-to-day operations.
  • jumped from job to job in Trump's orbit.
  • shifted to the Republican National Committee when Trump fired Manafort last August.
  • helped the president-elect get set up for inauguration.
  • In January, headed to America First Policies, a nonprofit started by Trump advisers to support the White House's agenda.
  • In March, quit after the Associated Press reported Manafort had collaborated with Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska to improve Russian President Vladimir Putin's status in the U.S. and Europe.

et cetera et cetera ... it might be better to check the article itself.

Further reading

A series of new articles have sprung up recently. Here are just some:

Feel free to contribute to the English Wikipedia page started about this person on 30 October 2017.

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The NY Times profiled him in June

Nearly everywhere Paul Manafort went, it seemed, Rick Gates followed, his protégé and junior partner. Election campaigns in Eastern Europe and Africa. Business ventures with a Russian tycoon. The upper ranks of Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign.

And later

The two men met nearly three decades ago when Mr. Gates was an intern at Black, Manafort, Stone, Kelly, a high-powered Washington consulting firm.

The firm specialized in running Republican campaigns and then lobbying the politicians they had helped elect. In Washington, Mr. Manafort worked to smooth the rough edges of various dictators and strongmen, among them Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines and Mobutu Sese Seko of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Trump Organization was also a client, employing the firm to lobby the Treasury Department on casino transaction rules and to guide Mr. Trump’s ill-fated New York-Washington airline venture.

“Rick was Paul’s business guy,” said Tad Devine, a Democratic political consultant who worked with Davis Manafort on the Ukraine campaigns.

Essentially, Gates started several overseas private ventures with Manafort (not all of them successful). Eventually, Trump tapped Manafort to take over his (then troubled) candidacy.

In the spring of 2016, when Mr. Trump found himself outmaneuvered in the arcane battle for Republican convention delegates, he turned to Mr. Manafort. Mr. Gates came along as his deputy — the man behind the man in charge. In a campaign known for its factionalism, Mr. Gates won over colleagues by managing the mundane but essential work of daily operations. He traveled often with Mr. Trump and forged relationships with Reince Priebus, the future chief of staff, and Brad Parscale, the campaign’s digital director.

Those ties enabled Mr. Gates to outlast his mentor last summer, when Mr. Manafort was ousted. Mr. Gates moved to the Republican National Committee, helping iron out joint fund-raising agreements and other contracts with Mr. Trump’s campaign.

Mr. Gates was soon established in Mr. Trump’s circle. Before the first presidential debate, he glad-handed with Michael T. Flynn, Mr. Trump’s top security adviser — now also a subject of the federal investigations — and Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino mogul. At an election night party, Mr. Gates hit it off with Thomas J. Barrack Jr., the wealthy Los Angeles investor, who hired Mr. Gates to help run Mr. Trump’s inaugural.

Once the Russia investigation dug deeper into Manafort's ties with Russia, Gates was removed.

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