This is really weird. A defendant in a very high profile case, Gates, goes into court today essentially without a lawyer and has a public defender stand up for him on a very short term basis. Its not a cost issue, because he, Gates, had promised to pay the PD’s costs.
So, there are only two possible explanations: That Gates did not realize that he has any legal exposure, or that Gates has previously been represented, officially or not, by Manafort’s lawyer. The first is manifestly impossible.
That leads us to the question as to why Gates only figured out that he needed his own lawyer this morning.
I can only imagine two scenarios — either that the lawyer only realized that the interests of the two defendants were in conflict today or that the prosecutor pulled the Assist US attorney aside and warned the private attorney that a motion to dismiss him from the case (maybe both defendants) would be made immediately.
If the initiative came from the private lawyer, then the question is what in the indictment showed a conflict that he did not know exist before, and why did he not know it.
In any event, this is bad news for the Trump gang, and maybe even worse news going forward.
Anyone want to reread the indictment with this in mind?