Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images

Appearing in court today, former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates pled guilty to one count of conspiracy against the United States and one count of making false statements to the FBI and to the Special Counsel at a meeting last month. In preparation for the guilty plea, Robert Mueller filed superseding criminal information earlier today which alleged Gates and Manafort laundered tens of millions of dollars that they earned through their work for the Ukrainian government.

Why it matters: Mueller now has the cooperation of a key player who worked closely with the Trump campaign, and stayed on the team even after Manafort resigned as campaign manager. Manafort released a statement today maintaining his innocence, but the pressure is at an all-time high now that his former partner is ready to talk.

What's next: Federal guidelines suggest Gates will face a sentence of 57 to 71 months, but these are only advisory and are subject to discretion, per Bloomberg. Gates' status hearing is for May 14, indicating the Mueller probe has no intention of winding down before then.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6:15 p.m. ET: 30,611,684 — Total deaths: 953,820— Total recoveries: 20,836,867Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6:15 p.m. ET: 6,756,781 — Total deaths: 199,090 — Total recoveries: 2,556,465 — Total tests: 93,150,052Map.
  3. Politics: In reversal, CDC again recommends coronavirus testing for asymptomatic people.
  4. Health: The dwindling chances of eliminating COVID-19.
  5. World: Guatemalan president tests positive for COVID-19 — The countries painting their pandemic recoveries green.

Trump says he expects to announce a Supreme Court nominee "next week"

President Trump speaking prior to his departure from the White House on Sept. 19. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

President Trump said Saturday he expects to announce a nominee for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's vacant Supreme Court seat “next week” and that the person will “most likely" be a woman.

What he's saying: "If somebody were to ask me now, I would say that a woman would be in first place, yes. The choice of a woman, I would say, would certainly be appropriate," the president told pool reporters.

Susan Collins says Senate should postpone Supreme Court vote

Sen. Susan Collins. Photo: Tom Williams/Getty Images

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said in a statement Saturday she believes whoever is elected in the 2020 presidential race should pick the nominee to fill Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Supreme Court seat.

Why it matters: Collins will be key in how the nomination process plays out. As one of the most centrist Senate Republicans, whether or not the Senate confirms Trump's SCOTUS nominee could hinge on her vote.