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Former Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort Indicted (Updated)

The first indictment came down from Special Counsel Robert Mueller this morning and it has taken the head of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and one of his associates. The alleged crimes concern some relation to the Russia meddling probe that has been ongoing since earlier this year. Specific details are still unavailable as to what Manafort is being accused of, but we should know more at some point today.

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The latest from Business Insider:

President Donald Trump’s campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Manafort’s former business associate Rick Gates were been indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller and told to surrender to federal authorities on Monday, multiple media outlets have reported.

Manafort has been at the center of Mueller’s investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow during the 2016 election. Legal experts speculated over the weekend, after news of the sealed indictments broke on Friday, that Mueller would arrest Manafort in an effort to get him to “flip” against Trump.

Manafort’s international business dealings were a subject of critics when he was promoted to head the Trump campaign in June of 2016. His ties to several questionable players, such as former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, eventually became his undoing as the campaign demoted him and eventually released him over these financial matters.

Back in August of this year, Robert Mueller subpoenaed Manafort’s bank records which signaled he was in fact a major target of Mueller’s efforts.

It is not known whether the Mueller indictment is related to Manfort’s prior business dealings or dealings that occurred in relation to the Trump campaign, or the presidential election in general.

Stay tuned as this story develops.

UPDATE 1

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that tax fraud is among the list of charges:

The former chairman of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has been told to surrender to authorities on charges including tax fraud, according to people familiar with the matter.

The list of charges includes tax fraud, but that may not be the only item on the list. Usually surrounding tax fraud will be a list of other financial offenses. The indictment is expected to be unsealed later today.

UPDATE 2

Here is video of Manafort surrendering to authorities a short time ago:

UPDATE 3

The UK DailyMail is reporting deeper on the twelve charges included in the indictment:

According to the Justice Department, the indictment against Manafort and Gates includes 12 separate criminal counts: conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) statements, false statements, and seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts.

The government alleges that at least $75 million was moved by Manafort to offshore accounts without declaring the income to the government. Form there Manafort allegedly withdrew $18 million to fund a lavish lifestyle, and Gates pulled another $3 million out.

The indictment is purely focused on alleged financial crimes and does not include any charges related to the broader question that formed the basis of Mueller’s investigation – whether Donald Trump’s presidential campaign colluded with Russia to swing the 2016 election in his favor.

More as the story continues to develop…

UPDATE 4

Here is a link to the entire indictment from the Justice Department: Manafort Indictment (PDF)

Richard Gates, an associate of Manafort’s also named in the indictment, also worked on the Trump campaign in 2016, though at a lower level than Manafort.

So far, all the activities concerned in the indictment happened before Manafort was leading the Trump campaign in June of 2016. The bulk if it is funneling money around from the Ukraine into and out of offshore bank accounts.

UPDATE 5

President Trump has responded to the Manafort indictment on twitter:

Nate Ashworth :Nate Ashworth is the Founder and Senior Editor of Election Central. He's been blogging elections and politics for almost a decade. He started covering the 2008 Presidential Election which turned into a full-time political blog in 2012 and 2016.

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  • This suggests that the Russia investigation has value, but I don't think they're going to find any direct Trump-Russia connection. They don't need to. This investigation has always been about Russia's behavior. Americans will only be caught up in it if they were pulled into Russia's actions.

    • Oh mighty one. What is the value?

      I'll answer my question and then you can. There is zero Value. After months they come up with, remember he's innocent until proven guilty, business dealings and not campaign dealings.

      If they had anything dealing with the campaign Muller would have exposed it.

      • Are you saying it doesn't matter that Russia has been meddling in many elections in the west, and we really don't want to do anything to protect ourselves from it in the future??

        You're being all paranoid about whether your boy will get into trouble. If Trump were smart, he'd say he wants the truth out quickly. Instead of freaking out because someone else is getting a headline or two.

        • I'm not paranoid at all. What I am is sick and tired of watching this take up valuable time for Trump and the mainly the nation. This whole fiasco is a waste.

          What Trump should do is say what Clinton does and just forget about it. Old news. Who cares. But he won't.

          Why you or Nate even care about this media circus issue is beyond me. You two are supposed to be above this. But the media is supposed be better than this also. Nope.

          Russia meddling? Meddling in what? Meddling with the media? Giving false information? If people can't listen to a candidate and figure out on their own if he's nothing but hot air than shame on them.

  • Nate, What was meant by getting him to "flip" against Trump? Does "flip" mean to "squeal?" Did those "so called" legal experts have more than half a brain cell?

    Do people really think that this is some type of "cops and robbers" childhood game? But we did have a pervert in office who was impeached by the house only to saved by the senate.

    I'm sure Dano is giggling with childish glee over an indictment that doesn't mean squat. But it isn't his country. So why should he care, right?

    • Prosecutors usually indict lower level associates with the hope that they'll spill the beans on higher level targets. In this case, Mueller will be looking for Manafort (or Gates) to give him dirt on Trump or the Trump kids in relation to basically anything criminal. But this also means Mueller probably doesn't have anything on them that he can charge them with, so Manafort is where he's starting.

      • I don't agree. You sort of hinted at it. But still one can tell your hoping for the worse for Trump, the country, and the millions that voted for him.

        If Mueller had anything even remotely close to trump and collusion he'd gladly, proudly, yell it from the highest mountain.

        "Give dirt" This isn't a school yard game.

      • I don't even think Mueller is trying to get Trump or the Trumpettes. I think he's more interested in finding out what Russia did. To find that out, he'll have to grill the American contacts.

        From the sounds of it so far, Manafort's problems seem to be pre-Trump. But substantial.

  • I think I may be in trouble. The evidence mounting against me is unnerving. Let's see, first off I am married to a Russian. Secondly I accompanied her to her former home in mid 2015. This was around the time that our President Trump was preparing his presidential run.?

    I am afraid that this is too much of a coincidence. I anticipate my house being stormed by the leftist storm troopers and me being grilled by them after my abduction.?

    But fear not tax payers of America, Robert Mueller will do a lengthy and expensive research into my connection to President Trump. After all Mueller doesn't care how much he spends, it isn't his money.?

    • LOL. You're so right. This whole process is a joke. I can't believe intelligent people are taking this seriously.

  • Actually, this was just the first step for Mueller. He quietly started with George Papadopolous , who was Trump’s former campaign foreign policy adviser. Papadopolous pleaded guilty to charges that he lied to FBI agents investigating Russian election meddling. Mueller's office charged that while serving as an aide to Trump's campaign, Papadopolous met with a professor he knew was tied to the Russian government who offered him "dirt" on Trump's opponent, Hillary Clinton. This is the little espionage venture that included Trump Jr and son in law, Jared Kushner.

    We already know that the Russian government invested money in the election of Donald Trump by spending in excess of $100,000 to buy as many as 3,000 ads on Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook has turned over the ads and information about the Russian accounts to Special Counsel Robert Mueller and reportedly will soon turn them over to congressional investigators as well. What else might the Russians have done to fund Trump’s campaign? Because of the marvelous Wild West vagaries of David Bosse and his Citizens United and the decision of the United States Supreme Court, we may never know. In that decision, the court forbid restrictions on independent campaign expenditures by non-profit and for-profit corporations, labor unions and other associations.

    The Republican Party and it’s members deep pockets are paying lawyers for the personal defense of a self proclaimed multimillionaire, Donald Trump and his son and son in law. Even Bill Clinton paid for his legal defense team out of his own pocket.

    • "Clinton paid out of his pocket." Do you really believe that? Golly gee Berkley is there really an Easter Bunny?

      I could go on and on. But why. You are innocent. That's ok. You'll learn. Life is tough.

      • hgb...Reuters reported: Clinton raised funds from supporters to help pay his legal bills, and nonetheless ended up racking up millions of dollars worth of debt, money he ultimately paid off after becoming a highly paid speaker following his presidency. Can you offer verified proof otherwise?

        Trump, a self proclaimed multimillionaire, is the first president to have used campaign donations and their Party’s money to defend themselves from a criminal inquiry. The law dictates that these payments must be made available through public filings which has already started. So start reading and discover the amount and what you’re party donations are paying for.
        Life is tough, hgb, but your life will hit more and more tough spots if you continue in your blind “follow the leader” game. Trying to hide your immaturity and lack of knowledge behind your little “put down” comments just isn’t working for you.

        • As Gothe said "just distance myself." It is all about nothing anyway.

          Immaturity? Actually I wish I was 50, or 73, years younger. So thanks for the compliment.

          Trump tweets to distract. I wonder why he's distracting now?

    • Mueller's office charged that while serving as an aide to Trump's campaign, Papadopolous met with a professor he knew was tied to the Russian government who offered him "dirt" on Trump's opponent, Hillary Clinton.

      DIRT on Hillary Clinton? Why would that be needed? I believe that the Peanuts character "Pigpen" was an homage to her. Hillary Clinton would put pigs to shame, always wallowing around in anything and everything illicit!!!?

      • Natalia Veselnitskaya, a lawyer with close ties to the Russian government told George Papadopoulos, adviser to Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign, in April 2016 that Moscow had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails,” according to court documents unsealed Monday

        Mr. Papadopoulos’s conversation in April raises more questions about a subsequent meeting in June at Trump Tower, where Mr. Trump’s eldest son, Donald, Jr, Jared Kushner and three senior advisers were willing to “wallow in the mud like pigs” to meet with Russians who were similarly promising damaging information on Hillary Clinton. Their behavior was certainly illicit in the true meaning of the word, which is: forbidden by law, rules, or custom.

        • "Wallow in the mud like Pigs?" I really thought you'd uncovered some valuable information. Now I know this whole thing is a joke. I can't imagine even you believe it.