The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, unsealed new charges on Thursday against President Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, accusing him of hiding income and defrauding banks.
Many of the charges are similar to ones he was charged with in October. According to the new 32-count indictment, Mr. Manafort provided false information about his income to banks when he applied for mortgages. Seven of the counts relate to Mr. Manafort’s failure to properly file reports on his foreign bank accounts.
The indictment also revealed similar charges against Mr. Manafort’s longtime business associate and campaign deputy, Rick Gates. He was indicted along with Mr. Manafort in October.
The new indictment raises charges of bank fraud, which are new, as well as 16 charges of filing false tax returns. Prosecutors had previously accused Mr. Manafort and Mr. Gates of cheating on their taxes, but the new indictment turned each filing into an explicit charge.
The indictment was brought in a federal court in Alexandria, Va., prosecutors said, because the crime occurred there. Mr. Mueller said he did not have authority to bring the charge in Washington. The two men are now facing similar indictments in two federal courts, which raises the likelihood that Mr. Manafort’s case will be moved to Alexandria.
Mr. Manafort’s friends have said that Mr. Mueller’s indictment is an effort to pressure him into providing information about Mr. Trump and his campaign. If so, Thursday’s indictment adds to that pressure. But White House lawyers and Mr. Manafort’s associates have been adamant that he does not have any information that could hurt Mr. Trump.
Maybe he’s willing to face all of this jail time to protect Donald Trump, but I…would not bet on it. Of course, think there’s anything potentially problematic about a money-launderer who has done ratfucking campaigns for Putin-connected dictators running your campaign for free, and that there are likely to be further revelations, would be the worst form of McCarthyism.
On the other hand, looks like Gates has decided not to make a deal for now.