WASHINGTON — Rick Gates, the former top Trump campaign adviser who pleaded guilty to financial fraud crimes and lying to investigators, is still talking to federal prosecutors.
The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, requested for the fifth time on Friday a delay in the sentencing of Mr. Gates, a longtime political consultant who served as the campaign’s deputy and was indicted in a scheme related to work he did for a pro-Russian leader of Ukraine.
Mr. Gates “continues to cooperate with respect to several ongoing investigations,” Mr. Mueller’s prosecutors said in a joint status report.
Because the special counsel’s office cited other, unspecified inquiries, it was difficult to tell whether the petition for a delay in sentencing gave any indication of when its broader investigation into Russia’s election interference and possible ties to Trump associates would be complete, a subject of intense speculation.
The request capped a brief flurry of activity by the special counsel’s prosecutors.
They wrapped up their most high-profile prosecution on Wednesday, when Paul Manafort, a former Trump campaign chairman, was sentenced to a total of seven and a half years in prison for financial crimes and lying to prosecutors and a grand jury.
Mr. Manafort was Mr. Gates’s former mentor and business partner. Facing up to six years in prison, Mr. Gates agreed to cooperate with the special counsel and testified against Mr. Manafort.
With Mr. Manafort’s sentencing finished, the special counsel team appeared to be closing its Manafort chapter. One of the office’s top prosecutors, Andrew Weissmann, who helped lead the cases against Mr. Manafort and Mr. Gates, plans to leave his detail soon, a spokesman said.
Lawyers for Michael T. Flynn, President Trump’s first national security adviser, requested this week that his sentencing be delayed. In a court filing, Mr. Mueller said that Mr. Flynn continued to be positioned to cooperate with law enforcement officials in a case in Virginia.
As the special counsel’s inquiry has loomed over his presidency, Mr. Trump has labeled the investigation fake, rigged and a witch hunt.
On Friday, after offering condolences on Twitter for the mosque attacks in New Zealand that killed 49 people, Mr. Trump returned to criticizing the inquiry, calling it “an illegal & conflicted investigation in search of a crime.”
“THIS SHOULD NEVER HAPPEN TO A PRESIDENT AGAIN!” he added.