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- President Donald Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, surrendered to the FBI on Monday, three days after reports surfaced that the special counsel Robert Mueller had obtained the first indictments in the Russia investigation. Manafort’s longtime business associate and protégé Rick Gates was also indicted and told to surrender. The two were charged with several federal crimes, including conspiracy against the US.
President Donald Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and Manafort’s former business associate Rick Gates were indicted by a grand jury as part of the special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation and told to surrender to federal authorities on Monday.
Manafort walked into the FBI’s field office with his lawyer Kevin Downing in Washington, DC, at about 8:15 a.m. on Monday.
In a 31-page indictment, a grand jury charged Manafort and Gates with conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts, being unregistered agents of a foreign principal, and making false and misleading statements about their work as foreign agents. Money laundering, which is the most serious charge, is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison.
Manafort has been at the center of Mueller’s investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow before the 2016 US presidential election. The indictments against Manafort and Gates are the first since James Comey launched the investigation over a year ago. Mueller took over the investigation after Comey was fired as FBI director in May.
Manafort was forced to step down as Trump’s campaign chairman in May 2016, but Gates stayed and worked on Trump’s transition team. He was ousted from a pro-Trump lobbying group in April amid questions about Russia’s election interference, but he continued to visit the White House as late as June, according to The Daily Beast.
Manafort and Gates were each charged with 12 counts relating to financial crimes the indictment says they committed between 2006 and 2017.
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The grand jury’s charges are that:
- Both men acted as agents of the Russia-aligned Ukraine government and its political leaders and parties between 2006 and 2015 without reporting their activity to the US government. They laundered tens of millions of dollars generated from their work in Ukraine to the US, funneling it into unreported foreign bank accounts and companies, between 2006 and 2016. Manafort laundered over $18 million – and Gates laundered over $3 million – into the US, evading taxation. In total, $75 million flowed through Manafort’s and Gates’ offshore accounts. Manafort spent his laundered money on real estate and other goods and services in the US and defrauded banks in the US from which he obtained loans. Both made many false and misleading statements to the US government, during the FBI’s investigation, about their work for a foreign government and their financial dealings.
Read the full indictment below:
Natasha Bertrand contributed to this report.