Manafort, Gates Plead Not Guilty To All Counts In Alleged Money Laundering Scheme

October 30, 2017 2:05 p.m.
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Tierney Sneed contributed reporting.

Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, former aides to the Donald Trump campaign, pleaded not guilty on Monday to all 12 counts handed down against them late last week in an indictment that alleged a vast money-laundering scheme.

Both will be placed under home confinement with bond set at $10 million for Manafort and $5 million for gates. They will next appear in court on Nov. 2 at 2 p.m. ET.

A lawyer for Manafort, Kevin Downing, emerged from the federal courthouse in Washington where his client was arraigned and declared that the indictment shows Manafort and the Trump campaign did not make any attempt to collude with Russia.

“Well, I think you all saw today that President Donald Trump was correct. There is no evidence that Mr. Manafort or the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government,” he told reporters.

He went on to dismiss the charges against his client, saying that Manafort was merely trying to “further democracy” and “help the Ukraine come closer to the United States and the E.U.,” emphasizing that Manafort’s lobbying activities ended in 2014. Downing complained that special counsel Robert Mueller went after Manafort and Gates for failing to register as lobbyists for foreign entities, noting that the U.S. has only brought charges for such a failure to report six times, and also said it’s “ridiculous” to “claim that maintaining offshore accounts to bring all your funds into the United States is a scheme to conceal.”

A spokesman for Gates, Rick Selig, said in a statement Monday afternoon that Gates will “confront” the charges from the Justice Department in court and suggested that special counsel Robert Mueller brought the charges quickly to accommodate “political and press considerations.”

“Rick Gates pled ‘Not Guilty’ today. He welcomes the opportunity to confront these charges in court. He is not going to comment further until he has had a chance to review the lengthy indictment with his legal team,” Selig said in the statement.

Manafort and Gates were indicted on a wide range of charges, including conspiracy to launder money, acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign principal, and failure to file reports on foreign bank accounts.

Working for a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine, Manafort allegedly moved $75 million through foreign bank accounts and dodged paying taxes by setting up a slew of foreign companies and bank accounts, according to the indictment. Gates allegedly funneled $3 million through foreign bank accounts, per the indictment.

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