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Manafort, Gates Charged With Conspiracy Against U.S.

WASHINGTON D.C. — 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.

The two are scheduled to make their initial court appearances before US District Magistrate Judge Deborah Robinson at 1:30 p.m. ET Monday.

CNN has reached out to lawyers for Manafort and Gates.

Dramatic new development

The charges against two top officials from President Donald Trump’s campaign signals a dramatic new phase of Mueller’s wide-ranging investigation into possible collusion between the Russian government and members of Trump’s team as well as potential obstruction of justice and financial crimes.

A White House spokesman told CNN the Trump administration “may not have a response at all” regarding the charges. But a source close to the White House said, “today has zero to do with the White House,” noting that the charges pertain to Manafort and Gates’ business dealings.

Gates, according to a source, accompanied Trump ally Tom Barrack to the White House several times this year.

Manafort, whose work for former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has attracted scrutiny from federal investigators, has previously denied financial wrongdoing regarding his Ukraine-related payments, his bank accounts in offshore tax shelters and his various real-estate transactions over the years. Gates, who has also denied wrongdoing, was Manafort’s longtime business associate in his lobbying firm before being tapped as his deputy on the Trump campaign.

They are the first two officials in Trump’s orbit charged in connection with the special counsel investigation, which is exploring whether Trump’s actions surrounding the firing of former FBI Director James Comey amount to obstruction of justice. Mueller has taken a broad approach to his mandate that includes a focus on the financial dealings of Trump’s team.

Before the indictment, the FBI in July executed a so-called no-knock search warrant with guns drawn at Manafort’s home in Alexandria, Virginia, seizing financial and tax documents, including some that had already been provided to congressional investigators.

Manafort’s Ukraine work scrutinized

Federal investigators’ interest in Manafort and Gates goes back well before the special counsel was appointed. For about a decade, Manafort worked for Yanukovych and his Russia-friendly Party of Regions. Manafort’s work spurred a separate federal investigation in 2014, which examined whether he and other Washington-based lobbying firms failed to register as foreign agents for the Yanukovych regime.

Gates joined Manafort’s lobbying firm in the mid-2000s and handled projects in Eastern Europe, which later included work for Yanukovych.

Yanukovych was ousted amid street protests in 2014, and his pro-Russian Party of Regions was accused of corruption and laundering millions of dollars out of Ukraine. The FBI sought to learn whether those who worked for Yanukovych — Manafort’s firm, as well as Washington lobbying firms Mercury LLC and the Podesta Group — played a role. The Podesta Group is headed by Tony Podesta, the brother of John Podesta, the former chief of staff of the Obama White House.

At the time, the case hinged on the failure by the US firms to register under the FARA, a law the Justice Department rarely uses to bring charges. Earlier this year, all three firms filed retroactively with the Justice Department.

Gates once became involved in a failed business venture with Manafort and Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to legal filings. The plan was for Deripaska to invest $100 million in a private equity company that Manafort and Gates would manage.

The project fell apart, and Deripaska sued Manafort and Gates in the Cayman Islands for mishandling his money. Deripaska, a Russian citizen, has offered to cooperate with Capitol Hill investigations in exchange for immunity.

A secret order authorized by the court that handles the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) began after Manafort became the subject of an FBI investigation that began in 2014, sources previously told CNN. But the surveillance was discontinued last year due to lack of evidence.

Later in 2016, however, the FBI restarted the surveillance as part of its investigation into Russian meddling. Investigators’ interest in Manafort was reignited due to intercepted communications between Manafort and suspected Russian operatives, and among the Russians themselves, CNN has reported.

The investigation into Manafort intensified after Mueller was named as special counsel in May. Mueller has hired a team of prosecutors who have examined Manafort’s financial and tax history stretching back 11 years to January 2006, while he was working in Ukraine.

Running the Trump campaign

Manafort entered the Trump campaign orbit in early 2016, when he reached out to Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner and offered to work for free, according to The New York Times.

Manafort joined the Trump campaign in March 2016 to help with delegate counting ahead of the Republican National Convention, as some Republicans hoped to use arcane delegate procedures to wrest the nomination from Trump at the convention in Cleveland.

He soon was promoted to campaign chairman, and he became the top official on the campaign after then-campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was fired in June 2016.

His tenure didn’t last long.

The Times reported in August 2016 that Ukrainian investigators found Manafort’s name in an off-the-books, handwritten ledger detailing secret payments — including $12.7 million to Manafort from Yanukovych’s Party of Regions.

Manafort denied he had received any such payment and claims the ledger was forged. But just days later, he resigned from the campaign as the accusations swirling around him became a major distraction for Trump.

In addition to Manafort’s Ukraine business dealings, his real estate dealings, overseas business ventures and bank accounts in offshore havens like Cyprus have also come under scrutiny.

75 comments

  • Guy Fleck

    If Meuller got a Grand Jury to indict those two then I wouldn’t be surprised if Hillary Clinton suddenly moves to a country with which the United States does not have an extradition treaty with. The uranium bribery scandal involves way more felonies then Gates and Manafort committed together. Not to mention Hillary Clinton’s pay-to-play scheme involving Saudi Arabia and other nations that had to make “donations” to the Clinton Foundation in order to have meetings with Clinton and her aides. The question becomes what did Obama know about the Russian uranium purchase deal and when did he know about it and approve it, because he became, through Clinton, an accessory to the fact. The Clinton/Obama/Russia uranium deal is such a big criminal incident that compared to it the Rosenburgs’ were jaywalkers.

      • Guy Fleck

        So, GET REAL, what you are saying is we as a nation should not hold all criminals responsible for their commission of felonies? So if you are saying Hillary Clinton and the Obama administrations should not be held accountable for their corruption, then why do you want Manafort and Gates held responsible for the same things Clinton did??? The only reason you would want them charged and not Clinton is because you are a hypocrite.

      • get real

        No credible news source, the FBI, the GOP investigative committees has uncovered anything close to a crime here. It’s been looked at thoroughly by her greatest enemies and they found nothing. If there was any new credible evidence trump and his anarchist buddies in Congress would have called for a special counsel in a second. They haven’t. Now with these indictments, Fox and their lap dog trump need to rev up the “deflection” noise machine again. Deflection is trump’s main strategy — he plays his “base” like he’s making a cat chase a laser pointer. And I can assure you he’s laughing at your gullibility. He detests you and your ilk (unless you have more than a hundred million bucks or so).

      • Guy Fleck

        So GET REAL, just because you say the FBI and the State Department’s Office of the Inspector General are not investigating doesn’t mean they are stopping their on-going investigations into her multiple felonies. Also just because you said no one is calling for a Special Prosecutor to investigate her as well doesn’t take away from the fact that several Congressmen (some Democrat and some Republican) called for just that last week. So GET REAL, how about you GET REAL on your research and post facts instead of fiction. Every time you reply with falsehoods only makes you look uninformed and bigoted.

    • Guy, Gal, Whatever

      You are a special, unfixable kind of stupid. Please immolate yourself on the flaming pile of Trump-lovin’ traitors.

      • Guy Fleck

        Sorry to disappoint you but I am a Democrat who is tired of the corruption, hypocracy and bigotry in our party. It is amazing clear from your reply that you are one of the bigots within our party.

  • WARNINGFAKENEWS

    GO GET EM!!! Can’t wait to see all the other ones fall once they start ratting on each other to save their hides. Love it. LOCK THEM UP!!! LOCK THEM UP!!! Payback is a you know what!

    • matt edwards

      CAN’T AGREE MORE. LOCK UP ERIC’ FAST AND FURIOUS’ HOLDER, LORETTA .’TARMAC’ LYNCH, LITTLE JOHN PODESTA, JAIMMY ‘THE WEASEL’ COMEY, AND ROBERT MUELLER. THEY ALL AGREED TO THE URANIUM ONE DEAL. RIGHT ON LOCK THEM UP !!!!!

    • Get real

      Yeah you’re right. Sex, and treasonous acts with our largest enemy who is dedicated to our annihilation are pretty much the same thing. Yeah— I can see that. Wow.

  • 🤔

    Everyone has been against Trump since he got into office. They’re still trying to find anything they can on him. Meanwhile, look at all Hilary Clinton has done and she got off scott free. It’s nothing but a bunch of bs. They’re not going to find anything. Just a waste of time and money.

      • Guy Fleck

        Actually, the FBI did uncover the Hillary Clinton pay-to-play scheme and hundreds of millions of dollars of bribes paid to Clinton from other nations via “donations” to the Clinton Foundation were discovered, and the investigation remains on-going.

    • warningfakenews

      We had the FBI and the Justice Dept. covering up Hillary’s crimes. That’s a bigger scandal than anything they’ll find on Trump. Do the dems really believe Trump’s the kind of guy who isn’t going to hit back twice as hard as he’s punched?

      Anything Nixon did pales in comparison to what the Obama administration tried to pull off.

      • get real

        1) You are joking, right? The GOP, made investigating Hillary their second priority (their first being to stonewall Obama no matter what he offered even when it was in their constituents best interests) and spent over $20,000,000 of our money investigating over YEARS with NOTHING to show. 2) “Hitting back twice as hard”? against who? the Truth? the security of the USA? the best interests of the American people? It’s all about his ego, money and megalomania that he is above the law — He could care a rat’s patooty about you, me or anyone else. In fact he detests poor people (net worth less than $100,000,000) Get real.

      • :)

        You are brainwashed, warningfakenews. You regurgitate the same old BS, just like the trumpling does. It’s how the Ruskies programmed him. And they did program him. And now you’re programmed too. How’s it feel to be a pawn?

  • warningfakenews

    So they charge him (NOT Trump) with breaking the law two years before Trump got elected. Yeah, let’s stick 19 lawyers with an unlimited budget and unlimited scope on Hillary’s case and see how much gets found…

      • warningfakenews

        It’s not over yet. Corrupt Obama administration officials tried to hide it all, and it’s all coming out now.

    • get real

      Read the indictment. It is for activities from 2016-2017 when they were on the campaign staff. Trump (surprise, surprise!) out and out lied again in his tweet this morning. Unbelievable. (worse is that there are people like “fakenews’ here that still do listen to him). What do you tell your kids with a president like this? Sad.

      • warningfakenews

        False pretenses to launch the independent counsel, raid that goes well beyond the scope of the warrant, the head of the FBI colluding with the DNC and HRC, the obstruction via the Justice Dept. and the FBI, it’s hard to imagine this is going to work out well for the democrats… but what else are they going to do? Their party is going to have to spend more on Depends soon than on get out the vote efforts…

  • tommygunn

    Trump is a scam ! Just like Obama was. Kickbacks, illegal bs with lobbyists with fiduciary interests, illegal contracts, Questionable appointees with organized crime links. What dont you people understand its not just one side of the coin.

      • Feed Me More

        cleanest because trump is never there to make a mess, always at the golf course saving the world from immigrants and terrorist, what a guy, must be nice to get chosen, not by popular vote, to run a country but instead collect tax payers money to play a game, but still get supported by the same people complaining about obama vacations when trump has destroyed by an insane amount the cost and time of 8 years of obama and it hasnt been a year yet with trump, wake up fools!

      • Look in the Mirror

        I’m with you « Feed me More ». I was referring to the Obama’ Administration’s lack of criminality, not trump!! As trump undoes Obama’s work just out of spite, ironically it is the poor and middle class who suffer.

      • Writer Girl

        You are delusional. Obama and his cabinet, were a bunch of underhanded pigs, pushing their own agenda at any cost. Get a clue!

      • JohnKimball

        It’s easy to stay clean when you have the fake reporters in the “news” media lining up to give you tongue baths everyday. It’s good to be a Democrat.

      • Guy Fleck

        The Obama administration had more scandals than the previous past 3 presidents combined. Not teo mention the PPACA (Obamacare) in which its Title IX mandates double and triple digit premium increases every two years ( yet Democrats blame on greedy insurance companies when the fact is the Democrats wrote Title IX into the PPACA themselves). Should we look at how the Obama administration’s policies forced hundreds of business to close and forced hundreds more to reduce the working hours of employees to part time? Should we look at how the Obama administration artificially raised the price of gasoline and fuel oils? Perhaps the Obama administration of the VA can be discussed… or one of many of the other disgraces of the Obama administration. But those who continue to drink Jim Jones’ spiked “Flavor-Aid” (yes it was Flavor Aid, not Kool Aid, so be sure to do your research so you can get your Jim Jones references correct) of CNN will always fail to hold Clinton and the Obama Administration responsible for their actions, which is sad, because it shows they are not the patriots they claim to be if the fail to hold them accountable.

      • Get real

        Fleck. This doesn’t merit a response but…again, do you believe the GOP Congress during 8 years of obstructing Obama and demonstrating pure, and in my opinion, racist hatred would have been SHY about investigating him if there was ANY whiff of ANY scandal? If he had j-walked that would have sufficed for them. Get real!

  • Look in the Mirror

    You do know the he’ll plead guilty and trump (our man of law and order) will pardon him immediately in exchange for him not talking. This deal has been made for months.

    • matt edwards

      DO YOU mean like all the JUNKIES OBAMA PARDONED. MORE PARDONS THAN ANY OCCUPANT OF THE WHITE HOUSE IN HISTORY. ALSO WHEN HE THUMBED HIS NOSE AND IGNORED COURT RULINGS LIKE DACA! AND I LOVE HIS 10 TRILLION DOLLAR DEBT. SO DOES MY GREAT GRAND CHILDREN NOT EVEN CONCEIVED YET. OH. FOR YOU DEMOCRATS CONCEIVED MEANS CREATED !

  • Feed Me More

    everyone who is still a republican trump supporter acts like the horses pulling the amish around, they have their blinders up and cant see the whole picture. at any time you can use the internet to research and look up just about any of these news stories, dig into the facts and lies, and see that trump and his campaign, from day 1 til now have fooled you but republicans are to stubborn and dont want their friends to know they are idiots, so they deny facts and keep on rolling down the track toward the cliff, when its only a matter of time before we are all annihilated in a nuclear war or we kick out of office trump and his republican base

    • JohnKimball

      But where, then, are the charges for Trump’s campaign collusion with Russia? Six months of Mueller’s team of Democrat donor attorneys looking for collusion, and this is what they come up with? Please, give us these facts and this evidence you’re talking about. Our blinders are off and we’re waiting for you to enlighten us.

      • JessicaInWilliamsport

        It took Ken Starr, what, 4 years to find anything on Clinton? Mueller is just getting started and he already has indictments at 6 months. Seems to me he’s doing pretty darn well as far as Special Counsel’s investigating White House shenanigans goes…

      • Get real

        Mueller is doing it right and being thorough. The collusion has already been established and confirmed by the intelligence community. It takes time to gather this (mostly classified) info and build an airtight case.

    • Look in the Mirror

      When you say “fake news” about literally seeing him being indicted and the indictment has been published, you sound like a true moron. Stop being a parrot and think for yourself .

  • Lance

    Again old news. This guy resigned from the campaign when it came out that he had Russian dealings. They are so desperate to get something on Trump. How many more millions are going to be spent on something we already know. That the Russians meddled in our elections.

    • JessicaInWilliamsport

      LOL, it’s not even near as much as was spent on trying to find something to pin on the Clintons. It started with Whitewater and ended up with lying about a sexual act because Ken Starr couldn’t find anything else. Such short memories folks have. I would say that Mueller, who got glowing reviews from Republicans and Fox News prior to being named the special counsel, is very thorough — not desperate at all. The dominoes are starting to fall…..pardon me while I go pop some popcorn…..

    • Drip, Drip, Deluge

      Thought Trump said he’d surround himself with only the best and brightest? They ALL seem to have those same connections, don’t they?

    • Taco Salad

      Old News? He was literally indicted THIS MORNING.
      What would need to be proven for you to put down your obsession with the Clintons, and admit publicly that your chump was a bad pick for America? Or are you beyond that being possible.

  • matt edwards

    funny wnep never reported on the URANIUM ONE BRIDE AND FORFEIT OF 20% OF OUR URANIUM RESERVES TO A FORMER RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL ! UMMMM!

      • JohnKimball

        Oh please. Take a poll of the reporters, producers and executives and you’ll find 95% of them are reliable Democrat voters.

  • matt edwards

    Mueller should be fired today because of his involvement with the uranium one scandal where the clintons received a 120 million dollar bribe ! mueller, eric ‘fast and furious’ holder and james ‘the weasel’ comey should all be indicted !

    • tommygunn

      I am sure you are an attorney. You probably lift boxes at one of these generic distribution centers local republicans
      and democrat politicians tout as “great high paying jobs”. Republican and Democrat if you live in NEPA you are getting sold.

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