Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Rick Gates, former campaign aide to Trump, at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Photo: Evan Vucci / AP

Rick Gates, along with Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, has been indicted in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe. Gates has been described by the New York Times as Manafort's "protégé," and retained a central role in Trump's campaign and inaugural committee thanks to his mentor.

Get smart: "[He could] go to jail because his long-term partner decided to go work for Donald Trump," Paul Rosenzweig, former deputy secretary for policy at the Department of Homeland Security, told Axios. "What he did likely would not have seen the light of day...He's my Reince Priebus, Sean Spicer squared character in this drama...the man whose life is ruined by being sucked into the Trump tornado."

Timeline of Gates' ties to Manafort and the Trump campaign:

  • Roughly 30 years ago: Gates met Manafort when he worked as an intern at the then-powerful lobbying firm Black, Manafort, Stone and Kelly.
  • 2006: Gates joined Manafort's lobbying firm, Davis Manafort, where they took on Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, as a client. Their relationship with Deripaska later crumbled after Deripaska accused Gates and Manafort of taking nearly $19 million intended for investments without declaring what it was being used for, per the Washington Post.
  • 2014: Gates and Manafort helped promote Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych's policies in D.C.
  • Spring 2016: Gates followed Manafort to the Trump campaign, and played an integral role at the RNC where Gates became the fall guy for Melania Trump's plagiarized speech.
  • August 2016: Manafort quit the campaign amid scrutiny over his financial ties, but Gates stayed on as a liason to the RNC, before moving to the lobbying group, America First Policies, that was created to advance Trump's agenda.
  • March 2017: Gates' ties to Manafort led to him being forced out of the lobbying group. He's now reportedly working directly for one of Trump's closest and wealthiest friends, Tom Barrack, per NYT.
  • Since linking up with Barrack, Gates has been a frequent White House visitor. But some staff noted that "his presence was conspicuous since the president doesn't even like him," per the Daily Beast. "Rick [just] wandered around," a Republican source told the Daily Beast. "My understanding is that [Trump] had no idea he was in the building otherwise he wouldn't be too happy."

What Gates is being charged with: The indictment reveals Manafort and Gates were charged on 12 counts, including money laundering, conspiring against the U.S., and false and misleading statements surrounding their offshore financial accounts. Note that the indictment does not make any reference to Russia's election meddling.

What to watch: Rosenzweig suggested that Gates might have more information than Manafort but emphasized that at the end of the day "we don't really know."

Go deeper: Read the indictment charges in full.

Editor's Note: Sign up for Axios newsletters to get our smart brevity delivered to your inbox every morning.

Go deeper

President Joe Biden vows to be "a president for all Americans"

Moments after taking the oath of office, President Joe Biden sought to soothe a nation riven by political divisions and a global pandemic, while warning that "we have far to go" to heal the country and defeat a "virus that silently stalks the the country."

Why it matters: From the same steps that a pro-Trump mob launched an assault on Congress two weeks earlier, the new president paid deference to the endurance of American political institutions.

Updated 48 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Inauguration Day dashboard

U.S. Capitol and stage are lit at sunrise ahead of the inauguration of Joe Biden. Photo: Patrick Semansky - Pool/Getty Images

President Biden has delivered his inaugural address at the Capitol, calling for an end to the politics as total war but warning that "we have far to go" to heal the country.

What's next: Biden and Vice President Harris review readiness of military troops, a long-standing tradition to signify the peaceful transfer of power.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: The Biden and Harris inauguration

Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were inaugurated as president and vice president respectively in a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday morning.

Why it matters: Top Democrats and Republicans gathered for the peaceful transfer of power only two weeks after an unprecedented siege on the building by Trump supporters to disrupt certification of Biden's victory. Trump did not attend Wednesday's ceremony.