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Paul Manafort And His Former Business Associate Have Surrendered To The FBI

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The whip comes down.

The New York Times reports Paul Manafort, president Trump’s former campaign chairman, and his former business associate, Rick Gates, were indicted on money laundering, tax and foreign lobbying charges. Both surrendered to the FBI this morning. Robert S. Muller III, who leads the investigation, stated Manafort laundered more than $18 million in services and property. “Manafort used his hidden overseas wealth to enjoy a lavish lifestyle in the United States without paying taxes on the income.”

The indictment states both men, “provided false information to financial bookkeepers, tax accountants, and legal counsel, among others.” This isn’t a surprising development for Manafort. The New York Times reported the F.B.I raided his home this past summer.

Both Trump’s lawyer, Ty Cobb, and his former business partner, Roger J. Stone Jr., told The New York Times Manafort doesn’t have anything to offer the prosecutors that would tie back to president Trump. Still, it didn’t prevent Trump from going on one of his twitter rants yesterday about one of his favorite topics, Hillary Clinton.

While Trump distanced himself from Manafort by firing him months after making him his chief strategist of his campaign, it provides insight into Trump’s ability or inability to assess character and talent when making staff decisions. Moreover, his need to continue to cry wolf over Clinton and Russia is a thinly veiled distraction tactic to try to steer people from the truth.

What we know is intelligence agencies unearthed enough information to conclude Russian President Vladimir V. Putin conducted a propaganda and hacking campaign against Hillary Clinton in an effort to help Trump win the presidential election. This is when Mueller III came on to investigate whether anyone in the Trump campaign had knowledge of this, and so far they haven’t produced any ties to this end.

As part of the investigation, White House lawyers advised the Trump administration to save correspondence of five people. We now know two of those people are Manafort and Gates, which means three remain. So, this is going to become even more interesting as the investigation continues.


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