Russia

Manafort and Others Indicted by the Special Prosecutor

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his longtime associate Rick Gates have been indicted on a wide range of charges by special prosecutor Robert Mueller.

Manafort and Gates have been indicted on 12 counts for acting as unregistered foreign agents, money laundering, and conspiracy against the United States among other things.

From the Associated Press:

The indictment filed in federal court in Washington accused both men of funneling payments through foreign companies and bank accounts as part of their political work in Ukraine. Manafort and Gates surrendered to federal authorities Monday, and were expected in court later in the day to face charges brought by Mueller’s team.

The indictment lays out 12 counts including conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, acting as an unregistered foreign agent, making false statements and several charges related to failing to report foreign bank and financial accounts. The indictment alleges the men moved money through hidden bank accounts in Cyprus, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the Seychelles.

The Manafort and Gates indictment is light on immediate connections to Russian interference in the 2016 election, but a former Trump adviser has also been indicted and pleaded guilty to lying about his contacts with the Russians.

Former Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos has formally pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, but he appears to be cooperating with special prosecutor Robert Mueller in an effort to catch bigger fish.

The charges against Papadopoulos lay out his coordination with Russian agents who had "dirt" on Hillary Clinton.

Papadopoulos “made material false statements and material omissions” during a Jan. 27 interview with the FBI, according to the statement. He was arrested July 27. Prosecutors agreed to recommend between no prison time to six months under the plea agreement.

Papadopoulos told the FBI an overseas professor had “told him about the Russians possessing ‘dirt’ on then-candidate Hillary Clinton in the form of ‘thousands of emails,’ but stated multiple times that he learned that information prior to joining the campaign,” according to court documents. In fact, Papadopoulos was contacted after he learned he’d be joining the campaign, and the professor only mentioned the “thousands of emails” after he’d been on the Trump campaign for more than a month.

These charges obviously raise more questions that I expect we'll get answers to in the very near future. More specifically, I have questions about these "thousands of emails" and how exactly they ended up in the hands of WikiLeaks. Did the rest of the Trump campaign know they were coming? Did they coordinate their release with WikiLeaks?

The fact that Papadopoulos was arrested in July and has been cooperating ever since without it being reported in the press tells me the leaks we've seen in recent weeks did not come from the special prosecutor's team. They must have come from someone who works for the court system, a high-ranking congressional staffer, someone at the Justice Department, or some combination of all.

It seems plausible that the indictment of Manafort is just the first step of gaining his cooperation or flushing other cockroaches out of hiding.

  • Badgerite

    WSJ editorial board ( Paul Gigot) must be quite worried about that evidence gets presented for all to see in court thing that goes along with indictments. If there is innocence galore one would think that these accused people could prove that in court. Unless, of course, they are not innocent at all but guilty as shit and a corrupt sink hole of a group of people as one can imagine. I think the latter is a safe bet.

  • Ellen Kuhlmann

    meanwhile GOP Congresscritters continue to look for their spines and have been mostly silent.

    • Badgerite

      I don’t believe it is a political party so much as it is a gelatinous ooze. Like the Blob. Not all. But a lot.

  • The Popadop indictment along with J.D. Gordon’s change in story is the smoking gun on Trump collusion. https://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/2017/10/30/collusion-proven/ And Mueller is only getting started. I have to say, I’m a very happy camper today.

    • Badgerite

      “DO SOMETHING” George Takei: Overheard: Who knew MAGA stood for “Manafort and Gates arrested”?

      • He’s been posting some great one liners on Twitter today! 🙂

        • Badgerite

          🙂

  • Badgerite

    I figured Manafort ( couldn’t happen to a nicer guy). And Flynn would have to be on the menu unless he is cooperating with the Special Counsel’s office. Ahhhhhhh! Mueller time. Just the tip of the iceberg. More to come and very damning I am sure. The WSJ has lost any thin credibility it had left after Murdoch took over.

  • muselet

    The White House seems to have decided this is a persuasive defense: “Nothing to do with us. Manafort and Gates were bad guys before we hired them for the campaign.”

    Corey Lewandowski is insisting the real scandal is that the FBI didn’t inform the Trump campaign that Paul Manafort was under investigation (to which the correct response is, “Michael Flynn, you twit.”).

    The Wall Street Journal editorial board has decided to demand Robert Mueller be fired.

    Righty media are screeching that the real scandal is HILLARY! URANIUM! RUSSIA! EMAILS!, which is nothing new, except the volume is noticeably higher now. They’ve also started howling—again, more loudly than before—for Mueller’s dismissal.

    And there look to be more indictments to come.

    The next few months should be … interesting.

    –alopecia

    • Username1016

      My heart goes out to Hillary. All this screeching vilification over NOTHING, just because they need a scapegoat and have decided she’s the Wicked Witch of the West. She’s a pretty tough cookie, but this kind of hammering would wear on anybody. I feel like sending her cookies.

      • Ken Kohl

        or a bottle of chardonnay

    • Nefercat

      “FBI didn’t inform the Trump campaign that Paul Manafort was under investigation”
      —————————-
      And why should they? Weren’t trump and his merry band of greedy morons all over the concept of “extreme, extreme vetting”? It would be reasonable for the FBI to assume that the trumpanzees already knew about Manafort.

      • muselet

        No foolin’.

        Lewandowski is really lousy at misdirection, isn’t he?

        –alopecia

        • ninjaf

          In all fairness, he is used to trying to redirect the typical Fox News viewer. People not exactly known for being astute.

  • Toolymegapoopoo

    I think everyone kind of expected the Manafort/Gates thing. But Papadopoulus?!?! That was some of the best news I’ve read in a LOOOOOONG time. Trump is toast because he’s too stupid to wiggle his way out of this one. He’s also ridiculously predictable. A show of hands who knew he was going to start spouting about Hillary and Uranium.

  • ninjaf

    My understanding is Manafort and Gates were a statute of limitations thing — they had to charge them while they still could. Papadopoulos seems like the legit nit they are starting to pick and go up the chain.

  • Aynwrong

    Hopefully, this is simply the beginning. I hope this snowballs all the way up to the White House rose garden.

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  • Username1016

    I have a very busy day at work today, but am TOTALLY distracted/riveted by all this breaking news. Wish I were home making popcorn! The avalanche is starting. And Trump is melting down. Whee!