Indictment alleges Paul Manafort conspired against United States while managing Trump campaign
Unsealed Indictment’s timeline of allegations overlaps Manafort’s stint as Trump Campaign Director
The first round of indictments in Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election were unsealed Monday morning, and they contradict the continual denials from President Donald Trump that his campaign had no relationship with Russian officials or interests. Former Trump campaign director Paul Manafort and his associate Rick Gates have surrendered to authorities to face a 12 count indictment. And the president — who routinely calls the allegations “phony” — must now come to grips with the fact that criminal charges have been filed against multiple members of his campaign team for actions that, according to the timeline specified in the indictment, overlap with their tenure on the Trump campaign.
Manafort came aboard Team Trump in March of 2016, in the midst of the Republican Presidential Primaries. In June, Trump dismissed campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and promoted Manafort to the top spot in the operation. He would hold the position until he resigned under suspicious circumstances in August.
In the leadup to the 2016 Republican National Convention, Manafort brought Gates onboard the campaign.
The timeline is essential to the case, considering the president’s response to the indictment:
Sorry, but this is years ago, before Paul Manafort was part of the Trump campaign. But why aren't Crooked Hillary & the Dems the focus?????
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 30, 2017
While it is true that Manafort’s alleged crimes began before his involvement with the then-GOP nominee, they continued to encompass his entire tenure as both campaign staffer and campaign manager:
Through 2017. That covers the entirety of service to the Trump campaign by both Manafort and Gates. And that’s some rather hefty wording describing their actions.
The indictments come at a time when congressional Republicans are considering winding down their own investigations into Russian interference and meddling in the election. The first charges filed in the case by the Special Prosecutor should serve as a warning that there is, in fact, fire that’s causing this smoke.
Photo Credit: Drew Angerer, Getty Images News
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Ed Hanratty is a Reverb Press contributor and freelance political journalist. A lifelong New Jerseyan, he prides himself on having just enough Garden State sarcasm and skepticism to keep his bleeding heart in check. Keep up with Ed’s work and random ramblings on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the links below…but not Snapchat — that’s where he’s decided to draw the social media line. (For Now)