Paul Manafort, Trump’s Former Campaign Chairman, Pleads Not Guilty to Conspiracy Against the United States

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Updated Monday, Oct. 30, 2017, 2:38 p.m. EDT: President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Manafort’s business associate Rick Gate have both pleaded not guilty following their arrest on several felonies, including conspiracy against the United States.


According to the Los Angeles Times, Manafort and Gates both appeared before a federal judge Monday afternoon after the unsealing of a 12-count indictment against both men.

Both men pleaded not guilty to all charges, and a judge set bond at $10 million for Manafort and $5 million for Gates. Because both suspects are rich white men (even though their riches are now up for question), both sides agreed that a home detention would be adequate, according to Fox News.

Updated Monday, Oct. 30, 2017, 11:05 a.m. EDT: Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, and Rick Gates, Manafort’s business associate, are facing multiple charges that include “conspiracy against the United States,” “conspiracy to launder money,” “unregistered agent of a foreign principal,” “failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts” and “false statements.”

According to NPR, both men are expected in court in Washington, D.C., by Monday afternoon in what marks the first major public action by special counsel Robert Mueller, who is really showing his hand and making it known that he is not here to play games.

In the Monday-morning buzz, it was also revealed that former campaign foreign policy aide George Papadopoulos had pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI throughout the Mueller probe.

Court documents claim that Papadopoulos had extensive contact with people who were known to be connected to the Russian government, including one individual who apparently told him that Russia had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton.


Both Manafort and Gates turned themselves over to the FBI on Monday; however, Papadopoulos’ status remains unclear, according to NPR.


In the meantime, Trump is still doing what Trump does best—tweeting instead of managing the country—and he claimed Monday that whatever Manafort is up against concerns things that happened “years ago” before he joined the Trump campaign. And then, of course, he had to throw in “Crooked Hillary” for good measure ... because is it really a Trump tweet unless Hillary Clinton is mentioned?


According to NPR, Manafort and Gates’ indictment actually does not allude to Russia’s alleged interference with the election, but it does zero in on the financial ties between Manafort and Gates and “powerful Ukrainians.”


From NPR:

The indictment released on Monday charges Manafort and Gates with the extensive use of offshore back accounts, through which flowed more than $75 million. The document alleges that Manafort laundered more than $18 million of that to conceal it from U.S. authorities and Gates transferred more than $3 million.


The New York Post details how Manafort lived his best life with his funds, going on $12 million shopping sprees for items that included antiques, Range Rovers and more:

Eight pages of the indictment detail the other lavish expenditures Manafort made over the years.

They include:

-$5.4 million to a home-improvement company located in the Hamptons, where Manafort owns a mansion in Bridgehampton

-$1.3 million to a home-automation, lighting and home entertainment company in Florida

-More than $272,000 for payments on at least four Range Rovers and a Mercedes Benz

-$934,350 to an antique-rug store in Alexandria, Va., plus an additional $100,000 purchase

-Nearly $850,000 on men’s clothes in New York and another $520,000 to a clothing store in Beverly Hills

-Nearly $820,000 on a Hamptons landscaper

-$623,000 to an antique dealer in New York

-$20,000 for housekeeping in New York

Papadopoulos’ documents, for comparison, detail his widespread contact with Russian-linked operatives.


Updated Monday, Oct. 30, 2017, 9:14 a.m. EDT: Paul Manafort, President Twitter Fingers’ former campaign chairman, surrendered to federal authorities Monday morning.

Both Manafort and his former business associate Rick Gates were advised Monday morning to turn themselves in, and Manafort appeared to do so just after 8 a.m.


Here’s your much-requested perp walk:


As NPR notes, Manafort was taken into custody just days after a federal grand jury assembled by Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller voted to indict a figure in the investigation related to Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

NPR reports that it is possible the grand jury’s indictment will be unsealed Monday.


Of course, as Donald Trump’s house of cards comes a-tumbling down, POTUS is resorting to his favorite tactic: distract, distract, distract.

TrumPutin himself fired off several tweets from his personal Twitter account talking about the Affordable Care Act, the Dems and Hillary Clinton, and just about everything else over the past 24 hours except for the fact that his campaign chairman has apparently been caught with his ass out.



Paul Manafort is about to have to answer to some serious questions (and a trial, it looks like) after he was ordered to surrender to authorities, signaling special counsel Robert Mueller’s first strike in his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.


According to the New York Times, Manafort and his former business associate Rick Gates were advised to turn themselves in Monday morning, representing the first charges in the special counsel investigation led by Mueller.

Mueller is investigating whether or not associates of President Donald TrumPutin and Russian officials coordinated to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election.


The Times notes that the charges lobbed against Manafort and Gates are not immediately clear.


Gates is tangled up in this mess because, as the Times notes:

Mr. Gates is a longtime protégé and junior partner of Mr. Manafort. His name appears on documents linked to companies that Mr. Manafort’s firm set up in Cyprus to receive payments from politicians and businesspeople in Eastern Europe, records reviewed by the New York Times show.


Manafort has been under investigation for allegations including violations of the federal tax law, money laundering and whether he properly disclosed his foreign lobbying, the Times reports.

Read more at the New York Times and NPR.

News Editor at The Root, animation nerd, soca junkie, yogi



I got questions yall

$934,350 to an antique-rug store in Alexandria, Va., plus an additional $100,000 purchase

Why is he spending money on used rugs? I don’t care if Jesus himself slept on that rug, I’m not making anywhere close to a million for a rug that someone else’s dirty ass feet were on