Paul Manafort

32 New Charges Filed Against Manafort and Gates

“New charges were filed Thursday against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his business partner, ratcheting up the legal pressure on them as they prepare for a trial later this year,” the Washington Post reports.

“A new indictment has long been expected in special counsel Robert Mueller’s prosecution of Manafort and his right-hand man, Rick Gates, on fraud and money laundering charges. Manafort served as President Trump’s campaign chairman from June to August 2016. Gates also served as a top official on Trump’s campaign. The new indictment contains 32 counts, including tax charges.”

Meanwhile, the Daily Beast reports that Gates fired his lawyer and, contrary to recent media reports, he is not about to make a deal with Mueller.

Mueller Investigating Manafort’s Home Loans

“Federal investigators are probing whether former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort promised a Chicago banker a job in the Trump White House in return for $16 million in home loans,” two people with direct knowledge of the matter told NBC News.

“Manafort received three separate loans in December 2016 and January 2017 from Federal Savings Bank for homes in New York City and the Hamptons… The sources say the three loans were questioned by other officials at the bank.”

Manafort Under Scrutiny for $40 Million in Transactions

“Federal law enforcement officials have identified more than $40 million in ‘suspicious’ financial transactions to and from companies controlled by President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort — a much larger sum than was cited in his October indictment on money laundering charges,” BuzzFeed News reports.

“The vast web of transactions was unraveled mainly in 2014 and 2015 during an FBI operation to fight international kleptocracy that ultimately fizzled. The story of that failed effort — and its resurrection by special counsel Robert Mueller as he investigated whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to interfere with the 2016 election — has never been fully told.”

Gates Will Now Testify Against Manafort

Rick Gates “will plead guilty to fraud-related charges within days – and has made clear to prosecutors that he would testify against Paul Manafort,” the Los Angeles Times reports.

According to a person familiar with those talks, Gates, a longtime political consultant, can expect “a substantial reduction in his sentence” if he fully cooperates with the investigation. He said that Gates is apt to serve about 18 months in prison.

Mueller Says Manafort Also Committed Bank Fraud

“Special counsel Robert Mueller’s office has told a federal judge it has found evidence that Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman, committed bank fraud not addressed by the indictment last October in which he was charged with money laundering and failure to register as a foreign agent,” Politico reports.

“As legal wrangling continues over a $10 million bail package for Manafort, prosecutors this week accused him of submitting false information to a bank in connection with one of his mortgages.”

The Plot Against America

The Atlantic has a must-read profile of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort:

When Paul Manafort officially joined the Trump campaign, on March 28, 2016, he represented a danger not only to himself but to the political organization he would ultimately run. A lifetime of foreign adventures didn’t just contain scandalous stories, it evinced the character of a man who would very likely commandeer the campaign to serve his own interests, with little concern for the collective consequences.

Mueller Could Indict Paul Manafort Again

Daily Beast: “A superseding indictment would essentially replace the current indictment of Manafort. And in that current indictment, Mueller’s team hinted there was more to come. In particular, they hinted at potential tax charges for Manafort’s foreign financial transactions. Federal prosecutors can bring charges against any American who has money in a foreign bank account and doesn’t check a box on their tax forms disclosing it. The Manafort/Gates indictment describes financial behavior that may be liable for that kind of prosecution. And that’s an indicator that Mueller’s team may be preparing to formally charge both men with violating tax laws.”

Mueller Tracked Manafort’s Microsoft Word Edits

Associated Press: “Revealing that they know every word Manafort changed in a recently published op-ed, prosecutors for the special counsel argued Friday that the former Trump campaign chairman’s attempt to mount a public relations campaign to defend himself while under house arrest ‘raises serious concerns about his trustworthiness.'”

“Writing in Microsoft Word, Manafort changed several sections of the essay, going line-by-line for over 30 minutes on the night of Nov. 29, court papers show.”

“Each change was tracked in the document, which prosecutors later compared to talking points Manafort drafted last year to respond to news reports about his consulting work in Ukraine. They found they mirrored his edits, and appeared to show he had a ‘public relations campaign’ in mind to help his case.”

Manafort Accused of Violating Bail Conditions

Special counsel Robert Mueller accused President Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, of working with a Russian colleague to draft an opinion piece about his political work for Ukraine, Reuters reports.

“Had it been published, prosecutors say it would have violated a Nov. 8 court order not to discuss the case publicly… Due to Manafort’s actions, prosecutors said the judge should reject his request to modify his bail conditions.”