It is important to note that the FBI investigation into Manafort and Gates occurred years ago and up to 11 years ago, long before a Trump campaign. Keep in mind that Jim Comey, then-FBI Director knew and never warned then-presidential candidate Donald Trump.
According to The New York Times, Paul Manafort, 68, one of the most prominent lobbyists in D.C., and his business associate Rick Gates, 45, were ordered to turn themselves in to federal authorities Monday. The two are the first charged in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing Russian investigation.
This was another Mueller-illegal leak by the way.
The two are allegedly being indicted for tax fraud and FARA charges.
The FBI reported 12 counts Monday: conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, unregistered agent of a foreign principal, misleading FARA statements, seven counts of failure to register reports of foreign banks and foreign accounts.
The charges show that Mueller had a near-limitless authority.
Many of the charges alleged were committed eleven years ago.
The allegations are that Manafort and Gates engaged in massive fraud by not paying taxes and not registering as a foreign agent. The charges according to the government continued as an adviser into September 2016 as an agent of Ukraine which puts the President in Mueller’s target areas since Manafort wasn’t fired until August. Manafort allegedly laundered $18 million.
Two questions arise. If these charges are from earlier times, what connections do they have to the Trump campaign or could they be used to pressure Manafort to turn state’s evidence and even prompt Manafort to fabricate a story of Trump-Russia collusion.
Manafort briefly chaired the Trump campaign. He joined Donald Trump‘s presidential campaign team in March 2016 and served as campaign manager from June to August 2016. Manafort was a delegate counter in early January and that role grew. Gates has ties to a Super PAC for Trump.
There have been reports that Robert Mueller has always had his eye on Manafort and hopes to get him to turn state’s evidence against Trump or someone in his campaign.
Paul Manafort, who also worked for Presidents Ford and Reagan, George H.W. Bush and candidate Bob Dole, was fired by Trump in August when questions arose about his dealings in the Ukraine.
Investigations of Manafort have centered around his relationship with a Russian aluminum magnate in 2005; his work on behalf of the former Ukraine president who is an ally of Russian President Putin; and a money laundering scheme out of New York. Mueller has worked closely with the virulently anti-Trump AG of New York Eric Schneiderman.
The investigation into Manafort focuses primarily on his work for Party of Regions, a pro-Russia Ukrainian political party.
Manafort is linked to the party through his time serving as a top adviser to Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, a pro-Russian strongman whom Manafort is widely credited with helping win the presidency in 2010. The New York Times discovered last August that the Party of Regions in Ukraine had also designated Manafort $12.7 million in undisclosed cash payments.
Yanukovych was ousted in 2014 after widespread demonstrations against his decision to back out of a deal with the European Union that would have distanced Ukraine from Russia and strengthened ties with the West. Yanukovych fled to Russia amid the protests, during which Ukrainian police officers opened fire on thousands of demonstrators. He is now living under the protection of the Kremlin.
Paul Manafort, go directly to jail. Do not pass GO! Do not collect $200!
— Christian J. (@dtxErgaOmnes) October 30, 2017
It is interesting to not that Mueller’s team has allegedly looked into the Podesta Group which is intimately tied to Hillary Clinton.
John Podesta”s brother, Tony Podesta, was hired by Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank, to “lobby its interests in the United States and proactively seek the removal of various Obama-era sanctions” concerning the Magnitsky Act.
Listen to Trey Gowdy talk about the irony of people breaking the law are charged with investigating the law.