Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was hit with even more charges in a filing from special counsel Robert Mueller Friday.
Here’s what he’s charged with:
Prosecutors allege that Manafort “secretly retained a group of former senior European politicians to take positions favorable to Ukraine, including by lobbying in the United States.”
The new charges were made in the wake of Manafort’s former business partner Rick Gates agreeing to cooperate with prosecutors after pleading guilty to lying to the FBI.
Manafort is accused of orchestrating an effort involving former European politicians that were pushing an agenda favorable to the Ukrainian government, but pretended to be independent voices. Prosecutors say he secretly paid them 2 million euros.
The new charges against Manafort include money laundering, foreign lobbying violations and making false statements.
How serious are these charges?
Former CIA official Phil Mudd said of the new charges, “this is a three martini night for Paul Manafort.”
“He’s gotta be looking at the mirror and saying, with the combination of detail in these indictments, and the fact that his associate has flipped and is presumably talking about Manafort, how the heck does he go into a trial thinking he can win?”
“I’m gonna bet on the Situation Room bet board that he himself is gonna plead guilty one of these days, I can’t believe he’s gonna go to trial.”
After Rick Gates' guilty plea, former CIA official Phil Mudd says "this is a three martini night for Paul Manafort … how the heck does he go into a trial thinking he can win?" https://t.co/wHT2u30QRn pic.twitter.com/bJmqO7jgAI
— The Situation Room (@CNNSitRoom) February 23, 2018
Is this bad for Trump?
The Washington Examiner’s Byron York said the charges don’t affect the president much on their own.
“This only is a big deal if you believe that there is a secret, unknown conspiracy between Russia and the Trump campaign conspiring to influence the election,” he said. “If that exists, then putting pressure on Manafort makes a lot of sense.”
“If this is nailing Manafort for all sorts of criminal activity, mostly several years ago, it doesn’t affect the president much,” he explained.
.@ByronYork on Mueller indictment: "This only is a big deal if you believe that there is a secret, unknown conspiracy between Russia and the Trump campaign conspiring to influence the election." #SpecialReport pic.twitter.com/7dkqZrhJo5
— Fox News (@FoxNews) February 24, 2018