MONTREAL — Disgraced American industrialist Donald Trump supporter Robert Gates is being allowed into Canada to visit his wife, Interior Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday.
Gates had his passport and travel plans vetted by security officials, Trudeau said at a weekly news conference.
“At no time was it possible that an individual would not be approved for entry into Canada,” he said.
During the U.S. president’s first presidential campaign, Gates was famously forced to write off his “poison pill” bid to remain as a cabinet minister to staunch criticism from Trump.
Gates resigned from his position as president of Microsoft on Nov. 2, 2016 after being caught in an online plagiarism scandal at the time.
Two weeks later, he returned to the U.S. after pleading guilty to defrauding his former firm, Gates LLC, over $20 million in federal tax incentives and a tax break on his Manhattan home.He admitted to using a dead laptop computer as an “instrument” to attack fellow Washington lawyer Gennifer Flowers, and editing an invoice under the name “Bob Gates.”
Gates’ wife left the U.S. during his incarceration in June and has not been seen in public since.
The Toronto-based U.S. businessman is a close friend of Trudeau, who is demanding that his candidate, Bill Morneau, announce a series of cabinet changes on Monday, including a choice for finance minister.When asked why Gates was allowed into Canada, Trudeau repeated his line that the case is being investigated by a “jury of Canadian witnesses.”
Gates’ lawyers were not immediately available for comment.
A delegation of cabinet ministers met with the lawyer from Trump’s former primary and general election opponents this week, denouncing Trump’s campaign tactics and seeking to push back against the Republican president’s “blanket pardons” that have allowed some criminals to avoid being criminally charged.