Mueller Announces 32 New Charges Against Manafort & Gates, Questions Arise About Gates’ Legal Team


Special counsel Robert Mueller has filed new charges against former Trump campaign staffers Paul Manafort and Rick Gates.  The charges, thirty-two counts in all, were returned in a superseding indictment by a federal court in Virginia Thursday.

The charges in the indictment are related to tax evasion, failure to disclose foreign bank accounts and using real estate holdings to defraud banks out of nearly $20 million in loans.

In a statement released late Thursday, Paul Manafort’s spokesman Jason Maloni wrote that, “Paul Manafort is innocent of the allegations set out in the newly filed indictments and he is confident he will be acquitted of all charges.  The new allegations against Mr. Manafort, once again, have nothing to do with Russia and 2016 election interference/collusion.   Mr. Manafort is confident that he will be acquitted and violations of his constitutional rights will be remedied.”

Rick Gates, who had worked with Manafort for years, including in the Trump campaign, has been the subject of rumors Thursday, with regards to his legal team.  Some media outlets had reported that his attorney, Tom Green of the law firm Sidley Austin LLP, had been fired, and would be replaced with Barry Pollack, of Miller Chevalier.  In a statement to ITN, Green replied to questions about the current status of his relationship with Gates by saying simply, “I am his lawyer.”

Some reports have Green being out shortly, others have him working as co-counsel with Chevalier.  The questions though, along with the new indictments raise new doubts about the status of ongoing plea negotiations between Gates and Mueller.  Gates had reportedly been close to striking a plea deal with Mueller and becoming a cooperating witness.

Mueller has been investigating the Russia scandal since May of last year.  So far, he has indicted four former members of the Trump campaign, an attorney connected with Gates and Manafort, and sixteen Russian individuals and entities for interfering with the 2016 presidential election.


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