President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort surrendered to the FBI Monday, a seminal moment in the sprawling Russia probe that was captured live by the cable news networks.
Manafort’s appearance entering the FBI field office in downtown Washington, D.C. just after 8 a.m. ET, followed the first charges from special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe, The New York Times reported Monday.
The charges against Manafort and his business partner — which were unsealed Monday — include 12 counts of conspiracy against the U.S., conspiracy to launder money, unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading FARA (Foreign Agents Registration Act) statements, false statements and seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts, according to a Mueller spokesperson.
One of Manfort’s business associates, Rick Gates, also turned himself in Monday, according to CNN. The pair were indicted by a federal grand jury on Friday. Gates is linked to Manafort’s business dealings with politicians and corporations in Eastern Europe.
The special counsel has taken a broad approach to its probe into the Trump campaign and Russian interference in the 2016 election. Mueller has been investigating Manafort for months, looking at Manafort’s foreign business dealings and whether he properly disclosed his foreign lobbying. Manafort has previously denied financial wrongdoings in his various real estate dealings and use of offshore tax shelters. He came under scrutiny and was fired from the Trump campaign for a $12 million payment the Ukrainian president sent Manafort.
The former campaign chairman is the first person to be charged in the special counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in the election. Mueller and his team of prosecutors have taken interest in the Trump campaign, as well as the financial transactions of members of Trump’s team.
The FBI conducted a pre-dawn raid at Manafort’s home in Virginia in July, taking financial and tax documents.
Watch the clip of Manafort arriving at the FBI field house on Monday morning, via CNN:
- -Hiring More Journalists
- -Providing free memberships to those who cannot afford them
- -Supporting independent, non-corporate journalism