Words by Jillian Bowe
The former campaign chairman for Donald Trump, Paul Manafort along with junior business partner Rick Gates surrendered to federal authorities on Monday.
The New York Times is reporting Manafort and Gates were indicted on 12 charges including conspiracy against the United States, being an unregistered agent of a foreign body and, conspiracy to launder money. According to special counsel Robert Mueller, Manafort is being accused of laundering more than $18 million to buy properties and services.
Manafort and Gates are the first to face charges in Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 presidential election and the possibility Trump’s campaign assisted in that effort. Gates, a longtime protégé of Manafort’s name appeared on several documents linking companies Manafort’s firm set up in Cyrus, which obtained payments from businesspeople in Eastern Europe and politicos.
Manafort boarded Trump’s campaign in March 2016 to keep delegates from splitting with him and joining with established Republican candidates. Two months later, Manafort was promoted to campaign chairman but was fired by Trump later that summer when news broke Manafort received over $12 million from Viktor F. Yanukovych, the former Ukrainian president, and a pro-Russia politician.
This past summer, the FBI participated in an early morning raid of Manafort’s Virginia home to retrieve banking and tax documents.