Paul Manafort indicted on conspiracy, other charges
‘Misdeeds’ were years ago, says US Prez about former campaign manager
Paul Manafort, a former campaign manager for President Donald Trump, surrendered to the FBI on Monday and another ex-aide pleaded guilty to lying to agents in the most serious steps yet of a federal probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
Manafort, 68, a longtime Republican operative, arrived at the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Washington field office to hand himself in after being indicted by a federal grand jury on charges including money laundering and conspiracy against the United States.
In a separate announcement on Monday, the office of Justice Department Special Counsel Robert Mueller said former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos had pleaded guilty on Oct. 5 to making false statements to FBI agents in the Russia probe. Papadopoulos is an international energy lawyer.
Manafort associate Rick Gates was named alongside Manafort in the 12-count indictment, which was the first from Mueller’s investigation into alleged Russian interference in last year’s campaign to try to tilt the vote in Trump’s favour.
Neither Trump nor his campaign were mentioned in the indictment and many of the charges, some of which go back more than a decade, appear related to Manafort’s work for Ukraine’s pro-Russian government and political figures there.
Russia investigations by Mueller and several congressional panels have cast a shadow over the Republican president’s first nine months in office and have widened the rift between Republicans and Democrats. Meanwhile, addressing the media on Monday President Trump said the ‘alleged misdeeds’ by his ex-campaign chairman were committed ‘years ago’.