Donald Trump‘s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, and his longtime business associate, Rick Gates, were both told to surrender to law enforcement on Monday morning. This legal update was brought about by the investigation led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller over the Trump campaign’s alleged ties to Russia during the presidential election.
According to the special counsel’s office, the two Trump lackeys have been charged with 12 counts — including “conspiracy to launder money, conspiracy against the U.S., false and misleading statements surrounding the Foreign Agents Registration Act, false statements and seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts.”
Despite President Trump’s past insistence that his campaign did NOT collude with Russia, a White House source told NBC News:
“The White House has been saying for weeks the special counsel is moving far more quickly and deliberatively than people have been reporting. The fact that the special counsel is actively performing its duties does not come as a surprise to the White House.”
Mr. Manafort has since turned himself over to the FBI as he was spotted, alongside his lawyer, at the agency’s field office in Washington D.C. around 8:15 a.m. The American lobbyist, who served on the Trump campaign from April to August 2016, has been under investigation for some time as his past featured lobbying work for a Russian-backed Ukrainian political party. This business move also involved Paul’s longtime protégé, Mr. Gates.
While Rick is a lesser known participant in this controversy, he did fly with Paul to meet with associates for Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska.
According to the unsealed document, “more than $ 75 million flowed through offshore accounts” and the indictment also referenced Manafort’s “hidden overseas wealth to enjoy a lavish lifestyle in the United States.”
Gates and Manafort are the first people to be charged in the special investigation.
This indictment isn’t necessarily shocking as Mueller was expected to hit Manafort with charges after the FBI conducted a search of the 68-year-old’s home in Alexandria, VA back in July.
Be sure to ch-ch-check back for more updates as this story is developing.
[Image via AP Images.]