• Rick Gates, a former Trump campaign adviser, has been sentenced to 45 days in jail and three years of probation, due to charges of lying to the FBI and conspiracy against the United States
  • Gates was an important witness during the Mueller investigation, providing information related to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Wikileaks
  • The judge commended Gates' cooperation in the Mueller probe, but still scolded him for his crimes 

A federal judge on Tuesday sentenced former Trump campaign official Rick Gates to 45 days in jail and three years probation for lying to the FBI and conspiracy, but praised his cooperation with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said Gates' cooperation with the Mueller investigation was an "important public service," with Gates sharing important information about his former partner Paul Manafort and how the Trump campaign pushed for details about hacked Democratic National Committee emails from Wikileaks.

Manafort was Trump's former campaign manager, and was convicted on multiple charges of bank and tax fraud, along with illegally assisting former pro-Kremlin Ukrainian president Victor Yanukovych.

"Gates' information alone warranted – indeed, demanded – further investigation from the standpoint of our national security, the integrity of our elections and the enforcement of our laws," Jackson said.

At the same time, Jackson said "it was hard to overstate the number of lies" and fraud involved with Gates' case. In addition to the prison time and probation, Gates was fined $20,000 and given 300 hours of community service.

Prosecutors and Gates have argued that prison time was not a warranted punishment, due to Gates' over 500 hours of participation in the investigations.

"I greatly regret the mistakes that I have made and I have worked hard to honor my commitment to make amends," Gates said, asking for leniency. Gates plead guilty in February 2018 to one count of conspiracy against the U.S. and one count of making false statements to the FBI.

The Mueller investigation, which lasted for nearly two years, had resulted in 34 indictments. Although Mueller concluded that he did not find clear evidence of Trump colluding with Russia during the 2016 campaign, he did not exonerate Trump from obstruction of justice in the case, leaving that decision up to Attorney General William Barr.