INTERNET (OCTOBER 30, 2017) (SOCIAL MEDIA WEBSITE – TWITTER VIA DONALD TRUMP) – Paul Manafort, a former campaign manager for President Donald Trump, was indicted on charges of money laundering and conspiracy against the United States, the most serious step yet in a special counsel investigation into Russian links with Trump’s 2016 White House campaign.
Manafort associate Rick Gates was also indicted. He was also due to surrender, the New York Times reported.
The 12-count indictment was the first from the investigation by Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller into alleged Russian meddling in last year’s campaign to try to tilt the vote in Trump’s favor.
It was not immediately clear if the charges, some of which go back at least a decade, related to Manafort’s work as campaign manager. Neither Trump nor his campaign were mentioned in the indictment.
“Sorry, but this is years ago, before Paul Manafort was part of the Trump campaign. But why aren’t Crooked Hillary & the Dems the focus?????,” Trump said in a Twitter post on Monday morning, referring to his Democratic rival last year, Hillary Clinton.
Trump, who has denied any allegations of collusion with the Russians, has expressed frustration with the Mueller probe and called it “a witch hunt.” He reiterated his denial of any collusion in a Twitter post on Monday.
Mueller has been investigating Manafort’s financial and real estate dealings and his prior work for that political group, the Party of Regions, which backed former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich.
Gates was a long-time business partner of Manafort and has ties to many of the same Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs. He also served as deputy to Manafort during his brief tenure as Trump’s campaign chairman.