After a nine-month probe into Russia’s election meddling and possible collusion with Donald Trump’s campaign, an indictment has been returned by a grand jury. Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, turned himself into the FBI on Monday, months after federal officials performed a no-knock raid on his home as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
According to a live CNN report, Paul Manafort was arrested today, and as part of a previous agreement with agents, Trump’s ex-campaign manager reported to an FBI field office in Washington, D.C. It’s unclear what charges Manafort is facing, but sources say the lobbyist and political consultant has been under investigation for several years over suspicious financial dealings and overseas wire transfers that raised red flags.
Manafort business associate Rick Gates was also indicted and instructed to surrender to the FBI. What’s known now is there are two indictments from Robert Mueller’s probe and lawyers are in the process of petitioning a federal court to unseal the criminal indictments.
According to the New York Times, Gates has long business ties to Paul Manafort. He first came to light when his name appeared on paperwork linked to Paul Manafort’s business that was conceived in Cyprus. Insiders say the company received monies from political figures and Eastern European business persons.
It’s unclear if Paul Manafort’s indictment and arrest are at all connected to the Trump administration. However, experts say the president may breathe a sigh of relief or attempt to downplay the latest developments, saying that the charges are in no way connected to his presidency. Others say it could be a first and pivotal step in the Special Counsel’s proof that collusion took place between Russian operatives and the Trump campaign.
“Mr. Trump has denied any such collusion, and no evidence has surfaced publicly to contradict him. At the same time, Mr. Trump and his advisers this year repeatedly denied any contacts with Russians during the campaign, only to have journalists uncover one undisclosed meeting after another,” the Times wrote.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller hasn’t commented about Paul Manafort’s indictment and arrest, and it’s unclear if he or his representatives will issue statements or hold a press conference on the first charges filed.
This story is developing.
[Featured Image by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]