Mueller ups Manafort indictment to include mortgage fraud

Dianna Christensen
February 23, 2018

The office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller issued its latest series of indictments on Thursday afternoon, this time accusing Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign manager, and Rick Gates, Manafort's longtime associate, of a range of crimes, including laundering some $30 million and working as unregistered foreign agents for Ukraine. At least one bank employee says they felt pressure to sign-off on the loans and is said to be cooperating with the investigation.

George Papadopoulos, who was on the Trump campaign's foreign policy advisory panel, admitted in October 2017 to making false statements to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents about contacts he had with the Russian government in 2016. Mr. Mueller said he did not have authority to bring the charge in Washington.

The loans in question were made to Manafort in December of 2016 and January of 2017 and relied on his homes in the Hamptons and Brooklyn as collateral. Calk did not receive a White House Cabinet position.

The Journal subsequently reported that the Justice Department had sought Mr. Manafort's banking records as part of a possible money-laundering probe.

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According to an NBC report out Wednesday, that's what federal investigators are trying to figure out. That indictment focused not on events in the 2016 race but financial transactions involving work by Manafort and Gates for a Ukrainian political party, and their failure to notify USA authorities that they were allegedly acting as lobbyists for a foreign government. Both Manafort and Gates have pleaded not guilty.

The court papers include 16 counts related to false individual tax returns.

But legal experts said the charge would put more pressure on the former Trump aides to cooperate with Mueller as he looks into whether Russian Federation tried to influence the election in favor of Trump by hacking the emails of leading Democrats and distributing disinformation and propaganda online.

Earlier this week, Gates had reportedly agreed to a plea deal with Mueller regarding his work with Manafort - much of which involved the regime of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who was officially ousted from power four years ago today.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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