Former campaign chairman for President Donald Trump, Paul Manafort, along with associate Rick Gates, was indicted Monday on 12 counts, including conspiracy against the United States and money laundering, according to the federal special counsel’s office.
Reuters reported that a statement from the office of Justice Department Special Counsel said Manafort and Gates were charged on Friday in Washington, D.C.
“The indictment contains 12 counts: conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading FARA statements, false statements, and seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts,” the statement read.
The case was unsealed Monday, after Manafort and Gates surrendered themselves to the custody of the FBI, the special counsel’s office told Fox News.
According to the indictment, which was reviewed by Fox News, Manafort and Gates acted as unregistered agents of the government of Ukraine between at least 2006 and 2015, generating tens of millions of dollars in income as a result of their work in Ukraine.
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Fox reported that more than $75 million flowed through offshore accounts.
It seemed that Trump was two steps ahead of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Manafort, who worked as a lobbyist and as an aide for Republican presidents, became Trump’s campaign manager in March but was forced to resigned from that position in August amid allegations of financial impropriety in Ukraine.
According to a Times report from August last year, Eric Trump said Manafort did not leave voluntarily from the Trump campaign. “My father just didn’t want to have the distraction looming over the campaign,” Eric Trump said in a Fox News interview.
The president took to Twitter to address the indictments:
“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?????” he tweeted.
The president also noted that Manafort’s crimes had nothing to do with the Democrats’ constant accusations against the Trump campaign.
The truth is Mueller is late to the game.
Trump was two steps ahead, protecting U.S. interests from potential Russian interference by forcing out Manafort.
The News York Times reported that those close to Manafort said he had nothing to offer prosecutors who were attempting to build a case against Trump.
But that won’t stop Democrats from trying to build a case. They will undoubtedly turn this indictment into another smear campaign against the president.
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