Manafort, Gates Under House Arrest After Pleading "Not Guilty" To Mueller Charges

Update: Manafort and Gates have been released to house arrest while they scramble to gather money for their bail, set at $10 million and $5 million, respectively, after pleading not guilty to a 12-count indictment charging them with making tens of millions of dollars while secretly working for the Ukrainian government and then hiding the money from the U.S. government.

The special counsel’s office considers Manafort a flight risk, and lawyers in Mueller’s office argued before Judge Deborah Robinson on Monday afternoon, citing the seriousness of the charges and the extent of Manafort’s ties abroad. The FBI took possession of Manafort’s passport yesterday. In a statement to reporters following the hearing, Manafort's lawyer, Kevin Downing, called the charges against his client "ridiculous."

“There is no evidence that Mr. Manafort or the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government,” Downing told reporters after Manafort’s court appearance.

“Mr. Manafort represented pro-European Union campaigns for the Ukranians. And in that, he was seeking to further democracy, and to help the Ukraine come closer to the United States and the EU.”

“The claim that maintaining offshore accounts to bring all your funds into the United States as a scheme to conceal from the United States government is ridiculous,” he continued.

Downing called Mueller’s prosecution of Manafort using the Foreign Agents Registration Act “a very novel theory,” point out that the government has only brought charges under the law six times since 1966.

According to the Hill, Manafort retained Downing, a former Department of Justice official, in August. Downing is known for his work representing clients facing complex financial investigations.

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Update: Democrat Adam Schiff, the ranking member on the House Intelligence committee, said the indictments open up "new lines of inquiry" in the Russia probe, even after reports surfaced earlier this week that many Republican members of Schiff's committee are trying to wind it down.

Update: Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has confirmed that the White House has no intention of firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller. She added that the role of George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy adviser during the campaign who pleaded guilty to obstruction earlier this month, was "extremely limited."

Sanders reiterated that the Manafort indictment has "nothing to do with us," noting that his alleged criminal activities took place before he joined the campaign. When asked if the president now regrets hiring Manafort, she said she hadn't asked him about his feelings on the matter. She also played down Papadopoulos's involvement with the campaign was minimal, saying he met with a group of foreign policy advisers one time, and had his named included on a list of advisers given to the Washington Post.

Sanders added that Manafort was hired to lead the campaign's delegate push ahead of the convention, and was let go shortly after.

Watch the press conference live:

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Update: President Trump on Monday called for the focus to be shifted to Hillary Clinton after his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort turned himself into the FBI after being indicted on 12 counts, including conspiracy against the United States."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?????" Trump tweeted. "Also, there is NO COLLUSION!"

Update: Sources close to the White House have released what appears to be an unofficial statement: "This has nothing to do with the White House."

The statement alludes to the fact that Manafort's alleged misdeeds took place before he joined the Trump campaign.

Update: Messages of support from Republican Congressmen for the Mueller probe are beginning to trickle in...

Update: In an apparent attempt to pre-empt criticism of the Mueller probe from President Trump, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have both released statements defending the investigation...

 

Update: The Justice Department has released the Manafort/Gates indictment. The indictment contains 12 counts total, and the big one appears to be conspiracy against the US. They are also facing charges of tax fraud, money laundering and giving false statements.

The two men are expected to appear in court at 1:30 am ET.

In total more than $75,000,000 flowed through Manafort's offshore accounts, according to the Mueller indictment. Manafort allegedly laundered more than $18 million which was used by him to buy property, goods and services in the US, income that he concealed from the US Treasury, the DOJ and others. Gates was instrumental in helping Manafort move the money form his illict foreign accounts into the US, and eventually transferred more than $3 million to accounts he controlled.

According to the indictment, between at least 2006 and 2015, Gates and Manafort acted as unregistered agents of the Government of Ukraine, the Party of Regions (a Ukrainian political party whose leader Victor Yanukovych was President from 2010 to 2014), Yanukovych, and the Opposition Bloc (a successor to the Party of Regions that formed in 2014 when Yanukovych fled to Russia). The two men generated tens of millions of dollars in income as a result of their Ukraine work. In order to hide Ukraine payments from United States authorities, from approximately 2006 through at least 2016, they laundered the money through scores of United States and foreign corporations, partnerships, and bank accounts.

Manafort and Gates used money from their Cyprus accounts to finance lavish lifestyles. Manafort spent more than half a million dollars of it on clothes from stores in Beverly Hills, and $20,000 on housekeeping. Gates spent the money on his mortgage, personal expenses, tuition payments and  an interior decorator for his Virginia home.

Read the indictment in its entirety below, whose highlights are below, courtesy of Bloomberg:

  • Both men hid their work for the former Ukrainian president Victor Yanukovych, his Party of Regions and the Ukrainian government from 2006 “through at least 2016,” according to the indictment.
  • Manafort alone laundered more than $18 million to finance what the indictment called his “lavish lifestyle,” which included millions of dollars in real estate, luxury cars, antiques, clothing, landscaping services and home improvements. He also defrauded banks that loaned him money, prosecutors said, and failed to file reports to the Treasury Department declaring ownership of foreign bank accounts.
  • After news reports surfaced in August 2016 about Manafort’s work in Ukraine, he and Gates “developed a false and misleading cover story” to distance themselves from their activities, the indictment said. This included “false and misleading letters” in November 2016 and February 2017 to the Justice Department, which was trying to determine whether they had acted as “foreign principals” under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Prosecutors charged them with false statements for those two letters.
  • They lobbied members of the U.S. Congress and worked with two other Washington lobbying firms, identified in the indictment only as Company A and Company B, according to the indictment. Manafort and Gates directed the work of those firms on Ukraine and paid them more than $2 million from the offshore accounts, it said.
  • To hide their assets, the men controlled dozens of business entities in Cyprus, Grenadines and the U.K. that masked their ownership, the indictment said. They also owned U.S. entities in Delaware, Virginia and Florida.
  • Prosecutors seek the forfeiture of four Manafort properties, including a Brooklyn brownstone, a Lower Manhattan condominium, and homes in Arlington, Virginia, and eastern Long Island.

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Update: The Washington Post reports that Manafort was seen entering the FBI's Washington field office Monday.

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Update: Manafort has been hit with several charges, including tax fraud, WSJ reported. He's expected in federal court in Washington later Monday, a person familiar with the matter said. Meanwhile, Rick Gates is also reportedly turning himself in.

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Update: CBS News confirms a photojournalist has captured images of Manafort leaving his home this morning with his lawyer.

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Surprise, surprise. The New York Times is reporting that the first indictment in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia has been unsealed.

And the target is none other than Paul Manafort, who briefly served as chief executive of the Trump campaign last summer before reports about his work for Ukraine's former leader Viktor Yanukovich forced him out. Manafort has reportedly been asked to surrender by the FBI, sparing him an embarassing perp walk.

Manafort's former deputy Rick Gates has also been asked to surrender.

The charges against the pair weren't immediately clear. But they do represent an escalation in the probe that has loomed over President Trump's first year in office.

Gates is a longtime protege and junior partner at Manafort's firm. His involvment in the probe was revealed in the spring. His name appeared in documents linked to a Cypriot firm Manafort set up to receive payments from Eastern European politicians like Yanukovich, who purportedly paid Manafort with money looted from the Ukraine state.

Manafort had been udner investigaiton for violations of federal tax law, money laundering and whether he failed to properly disclose his foreign lobbying.

As we've noted, since these charges mostly stem from Manafort's work before he became involved with the campaign, they leave ample room for Trump to declare victory.

As far as impact to the market - so far nothing - and as KBW’s Brian Gardner explains, none is expected, despite expectations for much sound and fury and told-you-so's from the left.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's indicting former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort or former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn over activities separate from Trump campaign/administration would be "mostly political noise," and would not significantly affect markets.

However, Gardner notes that any unsealing of indictments may dominate the week’s entire news cycle, drowning out coverage of tax legislation and monetary policy.

Now, we watch for the administration's response.

Here's the indictment:

Comments

Cloud9.5 Mon, 10/30/2017 - 08:03 Permalink

Trump needs to fire and then pardon whoever is charged in this circus.  Nixon should have fired his boys that broke into the Watergate complex and then pardoned them.  He then should have gone on national TV and said these boys did this in an effort to help me.  I appreciate that effort but we are not above the law.  Therefore these government employees are immediately terminated and forbidden to work for any other federal agency.  Had Nixon done that he would have finished out his term.  

tmosley jcaz Mon, 10/30/2017 - 08:52 Permalink

The WSJ is BEGGING Trump to pardon Manafort and all others engaged in Russian collusion/Uranium One. https://archive.is/GEDKjThis is a desperation move. They have nothing and are trying to force Trump to pardon them or appear hypocritical in dealing with Manafort.These scum really need to pay.

In reply to by jcaz

CuttingEdge macholatte Mon, 10/30/2017 - 11:00 Permalink

$70 million dollars laundered pre his involvement with Trump, but potentially during his heavy involvement with PODESTA, Mr Mueller?Isn't that co-incidentally about what they'll end up paying you and your Dem cohorts (if you can string this out long enough) for your truly inspirational prowess and powers of investigative deduction?Oh - and co-incidently about half what the Clintons took from the Russians? Hidden down a rabbit hole in plain view you appear to be blind to?...You cunt. Sad to say, though, given your personal involvement in U-1, a cunt with a very short credibility lifespan left, who will be made to look an even bigger one in a few weeks.

In reply to by macholatte

IH8OBAMA CuttingEdge Mon, 10/30/2017 - 18:31 Permalink

Did the FBI screw up in their search of Manafort's home?"...we were immediately drawn to the revelation that evidence was collected that may not have been covered by the warrant. That’s a serious development, and one that Manafort’s attorneys will no doubt seize upon. But, is it necessarily illegal? Did the agents do anything wrong? It’s not clear. It certainly could raise some serious constitutional issues that could taint the investigation."https://lawnewz.com/high-profile/mueller-teams-apparent-mistake-could-r… UPDATE: Since Manafort is under house arrest now, it looks like his penalty might be a small fine and time served under house arrest.  This is a joke.http://www.nationalreview.com/article/453244/manafort-indictment-no-sig…

In reply to by CuttingEdge

z530 IH8OBAMA Mon, 10/30/2017 - 21:22 Permalink

The recent FBIAnon posting is pretty interesting, even if it may be a LARP. I'd love to see it play out the way they're saying. It's already looking like it's richocheting back to Podesta, which if he gets indicted, will be big problems for Cankles. Podesta stepping down from his company today seems pretty ominous. https://www.reddit.com/r/conspiracy/comments/79pgbo/wow_insider_anon_pr…

In reply to by IH8OBAMA

chunga 3LockBox Mon, 10/30/2017 - 10:19 Permalink

A while ago, the maverick outsider came out and criticised recusal-face Sessions and I believe it was Schumer and Graham that went mental sticking up for him.If Sessions is playing rope-a-dope Trump must know about it. If he isn't he's a terrible AG and I hope this fraud Mueller throws him in prison. I really do.

In reply to by 3LockBox

boattrash chunga Mon, 10/30/2017 - 10:29 Permalink

Keep this fucker in mind too...Neil Kornze. Below is an excerpt from his Bio...Before coming the Bureau of Land Management, Kornze worked as a Senior Advisor to U.S.Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada. In his work for Senator Reid, which spannedfrom early 2003 to early 2011, he worked on a variety of public lands issues, includingrenewable energy development, mining, water, outdoor recreation, rural development, andwildlife. Kornze has also served as an international election observer in Macedonia, the Ukraine,and Georgia and is co-author of an article in The Oxford Companion to American Law.Tangled webs and pieces of shit. Ya think Mueller will be charging this bastard? No, me either..

In reply to by chunga

chunga boattrash Mon, 10/30/2017 - 10:44 Permalink

Mueller won't, my opinion on him is he's nothing more than a hatchet man to chop Trump. Sessions should though. Some people still like the guy but I just don't trust him with the shit he's done so far, like coming out and praising this Myhre. I know you read Redoubt News but I wish more people did because they're doing a good job.US Attorney Myhre Sinks Deep in the Swamphttps://redoubtnews.com/2017/10/us-attorney-myhre-sinks-deep-swamp/

In a surprising ruling, Judge Navarro allowed disgraced BLM agent Dan Love to be questioned for a full day on Monday. Love was obviously upset at the officials in the *DOJ overriding his authority as the Incident Commander.

*bold emphasis mine

In reply to by boattrash

Glassport chunga Mon, 10/30/2017 - 11:00 Permalink

Chunga - I read the article from the link.  Unfortunately, the article seems to presume that whomever is reading it would know all of the background information relating to the evidentiary hearing, and at least in my case, that is not the situation.That being said, I can see where the staff at Redoubt is trying to show the deep state implication of Myhre, but to me, the overall picture is quite unclear, so absorbing the details was impossible. To agree with the conclusions made in the writing, I would personally need to know the premises.

In reply to by chunga

chunga Glassport Mon, 10/30/2017 - 11:17 Permalink

I agree, the article presumes knowledge about everything that happened already. They have chronicled this pretty well...I wish Tyler or one of the contributors like Zeropoint would do something with this.Here are articles sorted by "BLM"https://redoubtnews.com/category/blm/It still boggles my mind this *excellent* 90 minute documentary on the topic has only been viewed 10K times. It is outstanding and I recommend it for anybody wanting to understand what happened in Harney County and the assassination of LaVoy Finicum.American Standoffhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6GAoqvK5s0   

In reply to by Glassport

STP chunga Mon, 10/30/2017 - 11:26 Permalink

Daniel P Love,  was a Special Ops, 'operator' who happened to show up in a Discovery Channel show on ops in Afghanistan.   In a clear violation of Posse Commitatus, he was in charge of the BLM Bundy Ranch Operation and in fact, was the lead negotiator under the bridge, with Ammon Bundy on the other side of the fence.  He was the guy dressed up in the usual tactical gear and of course, Oakley's. 

In reply to by chunga

Lumberjack chunga Mon, 10/30/2017 - 11:10 Permalink

"The primary responsibility of the special counsel" is "to investigate Russian interference with the 2016 presidential electionFurthermore, Mannafort and even Trump himself had no idea he would be running for president 5 years ago. Um, the Special Council is way off target...by miles and years. Mannafort et.al. should get what they deserve but the collusion is all Podesta/Hillary/Fusion GPS/Crowdstrike et.al..The Special Council needs to get crackin...and back on track 

In reply to by chunga

Cloud9.5 3LockBox Mon, 10/30/2017 - 11:46 Permalink

A pardon shuts down Mueller’s investigation.   This is a witch hunt and like all witch hunts guilt is ascribed to the suspect by simply being named.  So there is no justice here.  This is all partisan politics.  The simple fact is that there are so many laws on the books that honest people unwittingly break the law every day. http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/10/you-break-the-law-every-day-without-even-knowing-it.html This is a labyrinth that has no end.  This is a fishing expedition and Muller is casting a net far and wide and he will find a number of people who inadvertently broke the law.  People like Martha Stewart come to mind.   James B. Comey burned Martha Stewart at the stake of self-righteousness for lying to the FBI, but this same moral crusader found no wrong doing in Hillary Clinton’s email scandal.  Clearly as far as the FBI is concerned,  Martha was a real paragon of evil while Hillary is the most altruistic person on the planet.  Either the Republicans get behind Trump and pull the trigger on the Clinton crime syndicate or they lose the next election.

In reply to by 3LockBox

Creative_Destruct Gaius Frakkin'… Mon, 10/30/2017 - 10:13 Permalink

"In August 2016, Manafort's connections to former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and his Party of Regions drew national attention in the USA, where it was reported that Manafort may have illegally received $12.7 million in off-the-books funds from the Party of Regions.[29] On August 17, 2016, Donald Trump received his first security briefing.[30] Also, on August 17, 2016, the New York Times reported on an internal staff memorandum from Manafort stating that Manafort would "remain the campaign chairman and chief strategist, providing the big-picture, long-range campaign vision".[31] However, two days later, Trump announced his acceptance of Manafort's resignation from the campaign after Stephen Bannon and Kellyanne Conway took on senior leadership roles within that campaign.[32][33]So a scumbag lobbyist got caught laundering money over many years BEFORE (and continuing during and apparently unrelated to) Trump's campaign... and then exited the campaign. Unless there is direct evidence of the Trump campaign using Manafort as a conduit for collusion with the Russians (and I know of no evidence for that) this is irrelevant to charges of Trump campaign Russian collusion. But those facts will NOT be emphasized by the MSM.AND speculation will persist that Mueller will use his Manafort leverage to drop more shoes...for YEARS.

In reply to by Gaius Frakkin'…

CONCEPTPOLITICO chestergimli Mon, 10/30/2017 - 13:32 Permalink

Less the point guy and more the scapegoat.  TPTB are pissed off at Lil Yanu for turning coat on them and siding with Putin and they are pissed at Trump for getting elected.  So they figure they can try to ameliorate their frustration at these two disses with one scapegoat.  Ala Manafort.  Look up Manaforts history.  He has been doing this slimly kind of lobbyist for 3rd world and former Soviet satellite state strong men for three decades and for that same period of time he has not been paying his taxes on there earnings (i.e. money laundering).  But so has the likes of the Podesta Brothers, Clinton, Pat Robertson and the like.  Unfortunetely for Manafort he step into the scapegoat pit for as the TPTB was eager to display its anger throgh a ritual cutting of a political head sacrifice when he stepped in to help Trump's campaign gather delegates.  

In reply to by chestergimli

Giant Meteor Creative_Destruct Mon, 10/30/2017 - 10:54 Permalink

Manafort is a string, to be pulled ..However, what is evident, or what should become evident, there are king makers, and there are bag men, and they are employed by ALL swamp creatures with equal zeal. The point here is, this shit goes way beyond what is stated, as always. These snakes slither in the same swamp, and not one among them has clean hands  ...Not one ..Manafort, Podesta, Bush, Obama, Clinton, Trump ...So for all these dirty little charades, these stage props of "justice", the "collusion" has been a collusion, and direct assault against the very interests of the American people, for many, many moons .. 

In reply to by Creative_Destruct

No Time for Fishing Gaius Frakkin'… Mon, 10/30/2017 - 10:29 Permalink

The answer here is not everyone else does it why single out him, but instead  time for partisan Mueller's team to start investigating all the Republican Swamp rats and hold them all to the same standards, except for those members of Mueller's team starting with Mueller who are guilty themselves. Appoint a second equally viscous Republican Partison to investigate and prosecute Hillary, Bill, Obama, Holder, DWS, Pelosi and the rest of the Democrat Swamp Rats. We will probably need to appoint some additonal Federal Judges because the courts are going to be very busy and swift justice is the best justice. 

In reply to by Gaius Frakkin'…

Haus-Targaryen Michigander Mon, 10/30/2017 - 09:58 Permalink

I love capitalism and the free market, but seeing someone spend almost a cool $1m on rugs while there are beautiful cities and communities in the West literally rotting makes me irate. The corruption is to a point now, $4 million in consumer spending for one person in a year is "okay" we're truly fucked.  These people deserve to lose everything.  Burn it all down. 

In reply to by Michigander