PAUL MANAFORT and his former business associate Rick Gates were indicted on Monday on money laundering, and tax and foreign lobbying charges, a significant escalation in a special counsel investigation that has targeted President Trump in his first year in office.
Trump’s former presidential campaign manager, Manafort, has been charged with conspiring to defraud the US in his dealings with Ukraine. The 12 charges brought against Manafort and one of his business associates, Rick Gates, include conspiracy to launder money.
An investigation headed by special counsel Robert Mueller is looking into any links between Russia and the Trump campaign. The indictment against the two men looks at their links to pro-Russia politicians in Ukraine between 2006 and 2015.
Mueller said Manafort laundered more than $18 million to buy properties and services. ”Manafort used his hidden overseas wealth to enjoy a lavish lifestyle in the United States without paying taxes on that income,’ the indictment reads. Gates is accused of transferring more than $3 million from offshore accounts. The two are also charged with making false statements.
Manafort was seen arriving at an FBI office in Washington with his lawyer early on Monday after he was urged to surrender by the FBI. An investigation headed by special counsel Robert Mueller, a former head of the FBI, is looking into any links between Russia and the Trump campaign.
US intelligence agencies have already concluded that the Russian government sought to help Trump win the election. But President Trump has strenuously rejected allegations of collusion, calling the investigation a ‘witch hunt’ and an attempt to force him from office.