Special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe is heating up, with Paul Manafort, former campaign manager for President Donald Trump, and Richard Gates, Manafort’s business partner, getting indicted on Monday.
These are the first people to be taken into custody in special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into whether Russia interfered in the 2016 election.
“Paul J. Manafort, Jr., 68, of Alexandria, Va., and Richard W. Gates III, 45, of Richmond, Va., have been indicted by a federal grand jury on Oct. 27, 2017, in the District of Columbia. The indictment contains 12 counts: conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading FARA statements, false statements, and seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts,” said Peter Carr, the spokesman for Mueller’s office.
It appears the allegations center on Manafort and Gates reportedly serving between 2006 and 2015 as “unregistered agents of the Government of Ukraine,” among other parties.
The two allegedly made millions and are reportedly accused of hiding the laundered money through various of accounts and companies. Read the BuzzFeed report in its entirety here.
The New York Times reported that Manafort laundered $18 million to buy services and properties and that he lived a lavish lifestyle without paying taxes on the money. The Times has additional details:
Mr. Gates is accused of transferring more than $3 million from offshore accounts. The two are also charged with making false statements.
“As part of the scheme, Manafort and Gates repeatedly provided false information to financial bookkeepers, tax accountants and legal counsel, among others,” the indictment read.
Manaford and Gates are expected to appear in federal court on Monday around 1:30 p.m. ET. The White House has thus far said it has no response, though a source close to the White House told CNN that the indictment “has zero to do with the White House.”
This is the first indictment in Mueller’s investigation and it is unclear where the effort will go next.
That being said, the broader questions surrounding the narrative and Mueller’s investigation itself have centered on whether the Trump campaign colluded in any way with the Russian government or Russian officials to try and win the 2016 election.
A key line in the Times report summarizes where the reality currently stands: “Mr. Trump has denied any such collusion, and no evidence has surfaced publicly to contradict him.” That being said, as the Times noted, journalists have found that meetings unfolded between Trump advisers and Russians, despite claims to the contrary.
Manafort resigned from Trump’s campaign in August 2016 after Trump and his associates were reportedly troubled by Manafort’s overseas activities, feeling as though he had not been open about what, exactly, all that entailed, as Politico noted at the time.