Paul Manafort, the ex-chairman of Donald Trump‘s presidential campaign, has surrendered himself to the FBI.


Manafort and Rick Gates, an associate of Manafort’s, both pleaded not guilty to charges brought against them. Manafort was indicted on Monday with charges that he moved millions of dollars through overseas companies and used the money to buy luxury products like cars, suits and real estate. This case represents a big leap in a special counsel investigation that’s been overshadowing Trump’s first year in office. The men pleaded not guilty on Monday afternoon at the Federal District Court in D.C.

In May, special counsel Robert S. Mueller III began investigating whether anyone close to Trump had participated in a Russian effort to influence the 2016 presidential campaign. In doing so, Mueller came across evidence that Manafort and Gates had done lobbying work in Ukraine, as well as a scheme to hide money from tax payers and collectors. Authorities say that Manafort laundered more than $18 million.

“Manafort used his hidden overseas wealth to enjoy a lavish lifestyle in the United States without paying taxes on that income,” reads the indictment.


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Gates has been accused of transferring more than $3 million from offshore accounts. They are both charged with making false statements to the FBI. “As part of the scheme, Manafort and Gates repeatedly provided false information to financial bookkeepers, tax accountants and legal counsel, among others,” the paper said.

Trump has tweeted his brief response, which attempts to shift blame to the Democrats. “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?????” he asked. And minutes later added, “…Also, there is NO COLLUSION!”

A third man, George Papadopoulos, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about speaking with a Russian professor with ties to the Kremlin. He admitted that he lied in a January interview about the professor, whom he knew had “substantial connections to Russian government officials.” Even still, Papadopoulos told authorities that his conversation had occurred prior to him becoming an adviser to Trump, when in fact he had met the professor days after joining the campaign.

Manafort had joined the Trump campaign in March 2016, where he quickly moved up to chairman and chief strategist. Trump fired him months later after reports that he had gotten more than $12 million in undisclosed payments from the former Ukrainian president Viktor F. Yanukovych.

Manafort’s indictment did not come as a surprise, as federal agents raided his home earlier in the summer, and prosecutors warned him that they planned to indict. If convicted, Manafort could face up to 15 years, one month in prison, and Gates up to nearly 12 years, seven months.

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