Republican Strategist Manafort Is The First To Face The Music:
Man who once ran Donald Trump's Presidential campaign surrenders to the FBI
October 30, 2017
Top photo: Paul Manafort appearing ABC TV news show "This week" July 24, 2016 denying there were ties between Trump Presidential campaign and Soviet leader Vladimir Putin's regime. Bottom: facsimile screen shot of NY Times front page story 9/19/17.
(NATIONAL) -- It may be difficult going forward for Donald Trump and the White House PR machine to convince Americans that Special Counsel Robert Mueller' probe into Russia's interference in America's election process is nothing more than "fake news".
Reason being: multi-millionaire and long time Republican operative Paul Manafort, "Surrendered to federal authorities Monday morning, after a person close to the case said the first charges were filed in a special counsel investigation," reported the New York Times which first reported the story today.
The newspaper report said the charges against Mr. Manafort were not immediately clear "but represent a significant escalation" in Mueller's probe that has "cast a shadow over the president’s first year in office. "
Later in the day it was revealed that Manafort faces a 31-page, 12-count indictment. The charges include money laundering and conspiracy against the United States of America.
Also charged was Mr. Manafort’s former business associate Rick Gates, who was also told to surrender on Monday, the newspaper report said.
Former advisor to Trump campaign pleads guilty to lying to the feds
And later still it was revealed a former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, George Papadopoulos has pleaded guilty to making a false statement to the FBI after he lied about his interactions with foreign officials close to the Russian government
CNN reported that development marks the Trump Presidential campaign's "clearest connection so far to Russia's efforts to meddle in the 2016 election."
Manafort reportedly walked into the F.B.I.’s field office in Washington at about 8:15 am east coast time with his lawyer.
Gates has been described as a longtime protege' and junior partner of Manafort. Both men will be arraigned on the charges in a court appearance set for 1:30 pm east coast time.
More here .
Manafort is a long time Republican strategist. He joined the Trump campaign in March 2016. Trump soon promoted him to chairman and chief strategist which gave him control over day-to-day campaign operations.
Trump fired Manafort just a few months later after reports he received more than $12 million in undisclosed payments from a man named Viktor F. Yanukovych, the former Ukrainian president and a "pro-Russia politician," according to the Times.
For background on the Manafort probe including federal agents raiding his Virginia home and seizing computers and documents, check here .
What Papadopoulos allegedly did
In court records unsealed today, the FBI alleges George Papadopoulos "falsely described his interactions with a certain foreign contact who discussed 'dirt' related to emails" concerning Hillary Clinton.
A CNN Monday report said the "Charges against top officials from Trump's campaign signals a dramatic new phase of Mueller's wide-ranging investigation into possible collusion between the Russian government and members of Trump's team as well as potential obstruction of justice and financial crimes."
NBC News reported that Papadopoulos struck a "cooperation agreement" with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, "secretly pleading guilty three weeks ago to lying to federal agents about his contacts with Kremlin-connected Russians."
The report called the revelation about Papadopoulos a "bombshell announcement."
The following was written by Mueller's team about Papadopoulos: "Through his false statements and omissions, defendant ... impeded the FBI's ongoing investigation into the existence of any links or coordination between individuals associated with the Campaign and the Russian government's efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election."