Paul Manafort, the former campaign manager for President Donald Trump, and his longtime aide, Rick Gates have been charged in a 12-count indictment with conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, and making false statements.
[The indictment of Paul Manafort and Rick Gates] marked the first criminal allegations to come from Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia to influence the 2016 election. Gates did not respond to a request for comment, nor did Jason Maloni, a spokesman for Manafort. Manafort was spotted walking into the FBI’s Washington Field Office Monday morning.
What has the FBI been investigating?
Prosecutors have been probing Manafort’s work as a political consultant in Ukraine, where he advised a Russia-friendly political party for years before his work with Trump. They have also been examining Manafort’s personal finances, and exploring possible violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, possible failure to register foreign bank accounts and related tax violations, according to a person familiar with the case.
Rick Gates, Manafort's protege, helped plan Trump's inauguration
Manafort joined the Trump campaign in March 2016, and Trump tapped him to serve as campaign chairman in May of that year. He left in August 2016, but Gates, his business partner and protege, continued to play an important role with the campaign even after Manafort’s departure. After the election Gates directed the inauguration plans, including fundraising, under Tom Barrack, Trump’s close friend and adviser.