Special counsel Robert Mueller filed new charges against former Trump aides Paul Manafort and Rick Gates.
Here’s a Fox News report on the development:
Here’s what they’re charged with
Prosecutors allege that Manafort and Gates were involved in laundering $30 million, that they defrauded banks by exaggerating their real estate holdings to secure millions in loans, and they failed to pay taxes for a decade.
The 37-page indictment accuses them of hiding “the existence and ownership of the foreign companies and bank accounts.”
Manafort denies allegations
A spokesman for Manafort released a statement denying the charges.
“The new allegations against Mr. Manafort, once again, have nothing to do with Russia and 2016 election interference/collusion. Mr. Manafort is confident that he will be acquitted and violations of his constitutional rights will be remedied,” the statement read.
Does this have anything to do with Trump?
Not exactly. The charges stem from acts Gates and Manafort committed before they were involved in the Trump campaign, and any activities running concurrently with the campaign aren’t directly linked.
Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu of California implied that Trump was involved with the criminal activity in a tweet commenting about the story.
The new charges against Manafort and Gates show a large scale criminal enterprise. The charges, if true, also show @realDonaldTrump was lying when he said the crimes of Manafort occurred prior to the Trump campaign. https://t.co/mk59zUGPMg
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) February 23, 2018
“The new charges against Manafort and Gates show a large scale criminal enterprise,” he said. “The charges, if true, also show [Donald Trump] was lying when he said the crimes of Manafort occurred prior to the Trump campaign.”