CNN reports: Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former Trump campaign official Rick Gates surrendered Monday to Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller.
Gates, 45, is a longtime business associate of Manafort, 68, having worked together since the mid-2000s, and served as his deputy on the campaign. The two were indicted under seal on Friday, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said.
The indictment against the two men contains 12 counts: conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading US Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) statements, false statements, and seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts.
The charges do not cover any activities related to the campaign, though it’s possible Mueller could add additional charges.
Manafort arrived at the FBI’s Washington field office Monday morning. The two are being processed separately, according to a law enforcement official. They will later be transported to federal district court in Washington later Monday morning. [Continue reading…]
The Washington Post reports: The special counsel alleged that for nearly a decade, the two men laundered money through scores of U.S. and foreign corporations, partnerships and bank accounts, and gave false statements to the Justice Department and others when asked about their work on behalf of a foreign entity.
All told, more than $75 million flowed through offshore accounts, the special counsel alleged. Manafort, the special counsel said, laundered more than $18 million, using his wealth acquired overseas to “enjoy a lavish lifestyle” in the United States, purchasing multi-million dollar properties and paying for home renovation. [Continue reading…]
Amber Phillips writes: Manafort and Gates are charged with something that does not seem directly related to Russia collusion. And so Trump and his allies could argue that this has nothing to do with them.
Except, this is likely the beginning of Mueller’s investigation, not the end, said Jeffrey Jacobovitz, a white collar lawyer who has represented Clinton administration officials.
Many legal experts think Mueller is putting pressure on these outside figures to get them to cooperate by sharing what they know about Trump’s inner circle. If true, that would explain the FBI knocking on Manafort’s door in an aggressive pre-dawn raid, or the special counsel looking into Flynn’s son.
“Mueller wouldn’t have hired 16, 17 people to investigate these events just to indict some tangential person unrelated to the campaign,” Jacobovitz said. “I think one of the things he’s trying to do is trying to get Manafort to flip and cooperate” on the broader investigation. [Continue reading…]