Manafort Indicted On Tax Fraud Unrelated To Trump Campaign

Paul Manafort and his former business partner Rick Gates were charged with tax fraud as a result of Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel investigation.

Read the grand jury charges here.

The charges are unrelated to the original goal of Mueller’s Russia collusion investigation.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

The former chairman of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has been told to surrender to authorities on charges including tax fraud, according to people familiar with the matter.

Paul Manafort is expected in federal court in Washington, D.C., later on Monday, the people said.

Mr. Manafort was charged in an indictment returned on Friday, and unsealed Monday, along with his former business associate, Rick Gates. They are the first to face arrest in an investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, a former FBI director.

Before today, Manafort appeared to be a key target of Mueller’s investigation. In July, the FBI conducted a predawn raid of his home.

Over the weekend, BuzzFeed reported the investigation was zeroing in on overseas money transfers.

The FBI’s investigation of Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, includes a keen focus on a series of suspicious wire transfers in which offshore companies linked to Manafort moved more than $3 million all over the globe between 2012 and 2013.

Much of the money came into the United States.

These transactions — which have not been previously reported — drew the attention of federal law enforcement officials as far back as 2012, when they began to examine wire transfers to determine if Manafort hid money from tax authorities or helped the Ukrainian regime close to Russian President Vladimir Putin launder some of the millions it plundered through corrupt dealings.

Mueller and his investigation continue to be criticized over a conflict of interest.

For example, New York Post columnist Michael Goodwin called for Mueller to resign.

Mueller, whose office is apparently leaking the “secret” news that a grand jury has approved charges against an unidentified defendant, assumed his role with one big conflict, his relationship with his successor at the FBI, James Comey. That conflict has morphed into several more that are fixable only by resignation.

Mueller will face additional criticism because the charges against Manafort are unrelated to the concerns over Russia collusion with President Trump’s campaign.