Manafort Hit With Another Bank Fraud Charge By Mueller, Escalating Russia Investigation

Paul Manafort

Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign manager, has been accused by Special Counsel Robert Mueller of bank fraud. The charge comes in connection to one of his mortgages, and prosecutors claim that this “criminal conduct” is additional and was not taken care of by the previous indictment.

The indictment included money laundering and failure to register as a foreign agent. It also implicated Rick Gates, another Trump campaign official.

The original indictment reads:

“Between at least 2006 and 2015, Manafort and Gates acted as unregistered agents of the Ukrainian government…the Party of Regions…and the Opposition Bloc.

In order to hide Ukrainian payments from United States authorities, from approximately 2006 through at least 2016, Manafort and Gates laundered the money through scores of United States and foreign corporations, partnerships, and bank accounts.”

According to the indictment, Manafort laundered more than $18 million and Gates more than $3 million, deceiving the United States Treasury and the Department of Justice along the way.

President Trump claims to have no knowledge of Manafort’s behavior. He tweeted that “this was years ago,” but according to the indictment, Manafort continued his criminal behavior into 2016, when he was Trump’s campaign manager. He resigned from the Trump campaign in August of 2016.

Trump’s tweets also raise suspicions that he was trying to interfere with the investigation, or affect the outcome by attempting to distract attention elsewhere.

Manafort was also the target of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who was examining loans that he had taken, including mortgages from Federal Savings Bank. The bank’s chairman, Stephen Calk, was also an economic adviser to the Trump campaign.

The next issue in the trial is setting a bail amount, an issue which, according to Politico, is currently at a standstill. Both sides want different things but argue about how Manafort intends to post the collateral for his $10 million bail package.

A trial could start as early as September.

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