The New York Times reported Monday that Paul Manafort was told by special counsel Robert Mueller that he intended to indict him.
Who is Paul Manafort?
Manafort is a longtime Republican operative who was hired by then-candidate Donald Trump to run his presidential campaign for a few months in 2016. After the job was handed off to Kellyanne Conway before the election, Manafort was accused of having improper ties to foreign governments, including some Russian links.
Is this another anonymously cited report?
Yes, the New York Times is citing two anonymous sources for the report. President Trump and his allies have decried the use of such sources, saying the practice allows the media to mislead and outright lie in order to push a political agenda.
Both Mueller and Manafort declined to comment on the story.
What is Manafort accused of?
The New York Times reported that Manafort was being investigated for allegedly setting up offshore bank accounts. The warning that an indictment was coming soon was given to him after Mueller's agents performed a surprise raid on Manafort's home to collect evidence.
What is Mueller investigating?
Mueller, a former FBI director, was named to take over the investigation into the Russian interference in the 2016 election, and alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. Few details have been confirmed, but there have been many leaks from the investigations into the press.
Has Trump commented on the investigation?
Yes, President Trump has commented on the investigations, and has denied any culpability or knowledge of illegal activity from his former presidential campaign. He has gone so far as to call them a "witch hunt," and blamed the media as well as elements in the government who are opposed to his agenda.
Mueller was also at the center of intense criticism Trump made of his Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who he accused of carelessly recusing himself from the investigations and the special counsel to be named.
Is special counsel Mueller biased?
Several of Trump's allies have made this claim, including Sean Hannity who says that Mueller should be investigated over his friendship with former FBI Director James Comey, and the prosecutors he has hired to his team who have donated to Democrats.
Is Mueller investigating Trump himself?
According to a report from NBC in August, Mueller's team was investigating whether the president made a false claim in relation to a meeting his son, Donald Trump Jr., had with Russians in June 2016 in an attempt to obtain emails deleted by his rival Hillary Clinton.