By Dani Graham
President Trump‘s former campaign manager and chief strategist, Paul Manafort, turned himself into federal authorities this morning. In addition, Rick Gates, longtime business partner of Manafort and another former Trump campaign official has been urged to turn himself in.
The charges filed against Manafort and Gates include conspiracy against the United States, foreign lobbying, money laundering, and tax evasion are shown here:
News that the first charges were approved by a federal grand jury broke on Friday, while rumors swirled that the first indictments would be issued as early as Monday. Many had speculated correctly that Manafort would be the first indictment. Mike Flynn, Carter Page, and a few other names had been tossed around as well but one name that hadn’t been mentioned was Rick Gates.
Special prosecutor, Robert Mueller, lead the investigation into Russian interference of the 2016 Presidential election. In addition, the Mueller investigation has been looking into the possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, as well as any potential obstruction of justice perpetrated by President Trump.
Mueller was appointed as Special Prosecutor after President Trump abruptly fired then FBI Director James Comey back in May. Since then Mueller’s investigation had expanded into examining foreign lobbying conducted by Paul Manafort and former national security advisor, Mike Flynn.
Manafort has long anticipated these charges after the FBI raided his home in Virginia in July. Although a number of Trump surrogates have assured that Manafort won’t turn on President Trump, others wonder if his indictment will push him to cut a deal in an attempt to avoid prosecution.
Manafort first began working on the Trump campaign in March of 2016. He was fired five months later when it was revealed that he had received $12 million in payments from former Ukrainian President and pro-Russian politician, Viktor F. Yanukovych.
President Trump has denied the allegations of collusion between him or anyone from his campaign and Russia.
Trump and his advisors denied any contact with Russia until journalists reported numerous meetings between Russian officials and members of his campaign, including the infamous meeting at the Trump Tower in June of 2016 which included Donald Trump Jr, Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort.
Manafort was also instrumental in successfully making the only significant change to the Republican platform at the RNC Convention in Cleveland in July of 2016. That one change was to take a pro-Russian stance by eliminating its long-standing policy to advocate giving weapons to Ukraine to fight Russian and rebel forces.
And now BREAKING: Ex-Trump campaign advisor George Papadopolous admits he lied to FBI in Russia probe.