Since being appointed as special counsel for the Russia investigation, Robert Mueller and his team have heavily investigated any interactions between Trump campaign officials and foreign agents, resulting in an array of bombshell revelations and legal charges against various individuals. Two people who became key focal points of the investigation include former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, as well as longtime business associate Richard Gates. Mueller’s investigation uncovered illegitimate activities in regards to work with Ukrainian officials in October of last year, leading to charges being filed and cases being opened against both the aforementioned individuals.
As both cases have unfolded respectively of one another over the last few months, the special counsel’s most recent announcements shed light on the sheer severity of the allegations at hand. On Thursday, Mueller and his team took the cases a step further by announcing a new and broad list of charges being brought against the Trump associates, looking to indict Manafort and Gates for committing tax fraud, bank fraud conspiracy, and failing to provide reports on financial accounts in foreign banks.
The new indictment by prosecutors, which was already expected to emerge, provides insight into a detailed attempt by Manafort and Gates to evade taxes and launder money as a means of further lining their already bolstered pockets. According to a Washington Post report:
‘The new indictment offers a more detailed portrait of what prosecutors say was a multi-year scheme by Manafort and Gates to use their income from working for a Ukrainian political party to buy properties, evade taxes and support a lavish lifestyle even after their business connections in Kiev evaporated.
‘From 2006 to 2015, Manafort, with help from Gates, allegedly failed to pay taxes on this money by disguising it as loans from offshore corporate entities, and by using foreign bank accounts to make payments to businesses in the United States on Manafort’s behalf.’
The updated 32-count indictment, which was filed in Alexandria, Virginia on Thursday, aims to depict a comprehensive and convoluted picture of the lengths gone to by Manafort and Gates to keep their money hidden, and the means by which they duped federal agents to do so.
Mueller files new 32-count indictment against Paul Manafort and Rick Gates. Read it here: https://t.co/NPF9tTxHbV
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) February 22, 2018
The timing of the new charges is especially interesting, following Mueller’s indictment of 13 Russian nationals just last week, and coming on the heels of a guilty plea by Alex van der Zwaan, a lawyer and colleague that communicated with Manafort and Gates regarding their work in Ukraine.
— Citizens for Ethics (@CREWcrew) February 22, 2018
Rick Gates was Paul Manafort's right hand man. I suspect Manafort would have told him everything–including what Trump confided to Manafort privately. The Gates plea deal is more than Gates flipping on Manafort. Gates has things to tell Mueller about Trump. And he's telling them.
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) February 18, 2018
Although the new charges brought against the two men are not directly linked to their work on the Trump campaign trail, the expansive charges and increasing discoveries provide insight into potential foul play that may have been occurring all along. Piece by piece, Robert Mueller and his team have been able to pinpoint various Trump colleagues to interactions with foreign agents, all of which could culminate to a broader understanding of the role that Trump officials may have had in the 2016 elections, especially in regards to the already known Russian-linked interference that took place. Evidently, it is simply a matter of time until the pieces of the puzzle all come together.
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