Colony NorthStar Inc. (NYSE: CLNS), a publicly-traded equity REIT and sponsor of non-traded direct investment programs, has ended a consulting agreement with Rick Gates, a former campaign aide to U.S. President Donald Trump, according to a report issued by Bloomberg.
Gates, along with campaign chairman Paul Manafort, were the first two officials indicted on Monday following an investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller to determine whether members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to sway the 2016 presidential election.
Colony NorthStar founder and executive chairman Thomas Barrack Jr., a longtime friend of the president, worked on Trump’s inaugural committee with Gates.
Barrack told Bloomberg that he hired Gates to advise on communications industry investment opportunities “that may result from new legislation or regulatory reform” concerning tax, foreign affairs, trade and infrastructure.
Gates, who worked as a consultant at Colony NorthStar for the last six months before his firing, was indicted on 12 counts, including conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder $3 million, tax fraud, and making false statements. He pleaded not guilty to all charges and is currently under house arrest. Gates faces up to 20 years in prison.