Trump’s ex-cam­paign boss, his busi­ness part­ner in­dicted

MANAFORT, GATES CHARGED WITH CON­SPIR­ACY, MONEY LAUN­DER­ING; NO RUS­SIA COL­LU­SION — TRUMP

Gulf News - - Front Page -

D on­ald Trump’s for­mer cam­paign chair­man Paul Manafort was charged yes­ter­day with con­spir­acy against the US and money laun­der­ing, in the first in­dict­ments stem­ming from a sprawling probe into Rus­sian in­ter­fer­ence in the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

Spe­cial coun­sel Robert Mueller, who is lead­ing the probe, also an­nounced that a third per­son had pleaded guilty to ly­ing to FBI in­ves­ti­ga­tors prob­ing the cam­paign’s pos­si­ble links to Rus­sian in­ter­fer­ence.

Manafort, 68, and busi­ness part­ner Rick Gates, 45, were charged with al­legedly hid­ing mil­lions of dol­lars they earned work­ing for for­mer Ukrainian politi­cian Vik­tor Yanukovych and his pro-Moscow po­lit­i­cal party.

Both were put un­der house ar­rest af­ter they pleaded not guilty to the charges. The two men ap­peared in Wash­ing­ton fed­eral court yes­ter­day af­ter sur­ren­der­ing to the FBI ear­lier in the day.

Pa­padopou­los ad­mits to ly­ing

Ge­orge Pa­padopou­los, a for­eign pol­icy ad­viser to the cam­paign early last year, pleaded guilty on Oc­to­ber 5 to mak­ing false state­ments, ad­mit­ting he sought to hide con­tacts with a Moscow-linked pro­fes­sor of­fer­ing “dirt” on Trump’s elec­tion ri­val Hil­lary Clin­ton. “Pa­padopou­los im­peded the FBI’s on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the ex­is­tence of any links or co­or­di­na­tion be­tween in­di­vid­u­als as­so­ci­ated with the cam­paign and the Rus­sian gov­ern­ment’s ef­forts to in­ter­fere with the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion,” the in­dict­ment states.

Trump took to Twit­ter to dis­miss the in­dict­ments, once again in­sist­ing there was no col­lu­sion with Rus­sia and call­ing on Hil­lary Clin­ton to be in­ves­ti­gated. “Sorry, but this is years ago, be­fore Manafort was part of the Trump cam­paign. But why aren’t Crooked Hil­lary & the Dems the fo­cus ????? ” Trump tweeted. “.... Also, there is NO COL­LU­SION!”

In all, Manafort and Gates were hit with 12 charges of con­spir­acy against the US, con­spir­acy to laun­der money, fail­ing to reg­is­ter as a for­eign agent, mak­ing false state­ments and fail­ure to re­port off­shore bank ac­counts. “Manafort and Gates gen­er­ated tens of mil­lions of dol­lars in in­come as a re­sult of their Ukraine work,” the in­dict­ment says.

“In or­der to hide Ukraine pay­ments from US au­thor­i­ties, from ap­prox­i­mately 2006 to at least 2016, Manafort and Gates laun­dered the money through scores of US and for­eign cor­po­ra­tions, part­ner­ships and bank ac­counts,” it added. Manafort’s in­dict­ment made no men­tion of Rus­sian in­volve­ment in the US cam­paign.

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump falsely claimed in a tweet that Paul Manafort’s in­dict­ment pre-dated his cam­paign. “Sorry, but this is years ago, be­fore Paul Manafort was part of the Trump cam­paign. But why aren’t Crooked Hil­lary & the Dems the fo­cus ????? ” Trump said on Twit­ter at 10:25am in New York, fol­low­ing his for­mer cam­paign chair­man’s in­dict­ment Mon­day on money laun­der­ing and con­spir­acy charges.

“... Also, there is NO COL­LU­SION,” he said on Twit­ter three min­utes later. Spe­cial Coun­sel Robert Mueller’s in­dict­ment al­leges that Manafort and another for­mer Trump cam­paign aide, Rick Gates, en­gaged in schemes to de­fraud banks and the US gov­ern­ment from 2008 to 2017. Three of the crim­i­nal counts charged against Manafort and Gates cover ac­tiv­i­ties through 2017 and another count in­cludes ac­tiv­i­ties through 2016, ac­cord­ing to the 12-count in­dict­ment. del­e­gates to re­main com­mit­ted to Trump. When Manafort left the cam­paign, Gates kept his role within the Repub­li­can Na­tional Com­mit­tee.

He also worked closely with Trump-af­fil­i­ated po­lit­i­cal ac­tion com­mit­tee Amer­ica First.

Reuters

Manafort hides be­hind his car vi­sor as he leaves his home in Alexan­dria, Vir­ginia, yes­ter­day.

AP

Don­ald Trump with then-cam­paign man­ager Manafort in Cleve­land in July 2016. Manafort and Gates sur­ren­dered to the FBI yes­ter­day.

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