Nobody should underestimate how much Paul Manafort did to get this campaign to where it is right now. – Newt Gingrich (Last August)
CNN reported on Friday a federal grand jury in Washington on Friday approved the first charges in the investigation led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, according to sources briefed on the matter.
So we eagerly waited for Monday. The New York Times reported early Monday that Paul Manafort, who once ran the Trump campaign, was told to surrender.
Several news outlets, including Fox News, reported that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his associate Richard Gates were indicted on 12 counts, including conspiracy against the US and money laundering.
In addition, Fox News reported that a guilty plea by former Trump campaign policy adviser George Papadopolous was announced by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. He admitted to making false statements to FBI agents as part of the investigation.
It was reported that Manafort and Gates surrendered to authorities Monday morning.
Manafort was a member of Donald Trump’s campaign from March 2016 until August 2016.
According to the indictment, reviewed by Fox News, between at least 2006 and 2015, Manafort and Gates acted as unregistered agents of the Government of Ukraine, the Party of Regions, a Ukrainian political party whose leader Victor Yanukovych was president from 2010 to 2014, and the Opposition Bloc. Manafort and Gates generated tens of millions of dollars in income as a result of their work in Ukraine.
President Donald Trump tweeted this morning about the indictments saying, “Sorry, but this is years ago, before Paul Manafort was part of the Trump campaign.”
In section 14 of the Indictment we find:
Between in or around 2008 and 2017, both dates being approximate and inclusive, in the District of Columbia and elsewhere, MANAFORT and GATES devised and intended to devise, and executed and attempted to execute, a scheme and artifice to defraud, and to obtain money and property by means of false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises from the United States, banks, and other financial institutions. As part of the scheme, MANAFORT and GATES repeatedly provided false information to financial bookkeepers, tax accountants, and legal counsel, among others.
The New York Times reported that:
Mr. Trump has denied any such collusion, and no evidence has surfaced publicly to contradict him. At the same time, Mr. Trump and his advisers this year repeatedly denied any contacts with Russians during the campaign, only to have journalists uncover one undisclosed meeting after another.
Someone who is indicted or facing indictment will talk. They always do. We will have to wait to see how close it gets to President. My bet is that people close to him will be indicted. There were too many meetings with Russians and too many people involved.
No matter what, these indictments and the chance of future indictments will dog the Trump Administration for the remainder of this term.