Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his former business associate Rick Gates have been indicted by a grand jury on 12 charges, including conspiracy against the United States, as a result of the Mueller investigation.
The indictment accuses the pair of accepting tens of millions of dollars for lobbying on behalf of Ukrainian interests as early as 2006 and of laundering the money through a series of schemes. The Washington Post reports that among emails that have been obtained by Mueller are some in which Manafort offered to provide briefings on the presidential campaign to a Russian businessman with close ties to Vladimir Putin named Oleg Deripaska.
We also learned today that former Trump foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty three weeks ago to charges related to lying to federal agents about his contacts with Russians. The interview in which he’s accused of lying to the FBI took place the same day as the infamous meeting between Trump and FBI Director James Comey during which Trump asked for Comey’s loyalty.
Why was Manafort hired as campaign manager? He had no relevant experience for such a post. What he did have was close contacts with some shady people in Russia.
Here’s what we know. Donald Trump was forced to borrow money from Russians to finance his business enterprises in the early 2000s, because no American bank deemed him worthy of credit. As a presidential candidate, he surrounded himself with people who had no real qualifications for their positions, but did have close contacts with Russians. He was elected president in part due to massive Russian interference in our political process. It would appear Russia wanted very badly for Donald Trump to be elected president. Why was that and what do they expect to gain from a Trump presidency? We don’t yet know, but Robert Mueller is making progress toward finding out.
You might want to start building that wall while you still can.