Donald Trump, Paul Manafort hands himself in to FBI


Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was charged Monday with conspiracy against the United States and money laundering, the first to come out of a sprawling probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Who is Paul Manafort?

He was a key player in Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign.

Mr Manafort took over as campaign manager after Corey Lewandowski was fired in June last year.

However, he resigned from his position on the campaign just two months later after being accused of receiving millions of pounds from pro-Russian politicians in the Ukraine.

The 68-year-old is a staunch Republican lobbyist and has supported campaigns dating back to Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan.

In 1980 he founded the consulting firm of Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly.

Mr Manafort is charged alongside business partner Mr Gates who was made his deputy during Mr Trump’s election campaign.

What are the men accused of?

The men are accused of charges relating to their work with Ukrainian politicians between 2005 and 2016.

They are accused of conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money and acting as unregistered agents of Ukraine’s government.

Other counts include making false and misleading statements and failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts.

Mr Manafort is accused of what prosecutors said was a scheme to hide tens of millions of dollars made in the Ukraine from tax collectors and the public.

The authorities said he laundered more than $18 million.

Mr Gates was a long-time business partner of Mr Manafort and has ties to many of the same Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs.

He is accused of transferring more than $3 million from offshore accounts.

Mr Manafort was indicted on nine counts and Gates was indicted on eight counts.

Do the charges relate to the Trump campaign?

The charges are not thought to be related to Manafort and Gates’ work on the Trump campaign but to their dealings in the Ukraine between 2005 and 2016.

An adviser to Mr Trump said: “It had nothing to do with their tenure at the campaign as far as I can tell.”

Why are they being investigated now?

The charges are now being investigated as part of a special counsel probe into Russian links with Trump’s election campaign

The 12-count indictment was the first from the investigation by Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller into alleged Russian meddling to try to tilt the vote in Mr Trump’s favour.

Mr Manafort handed himself to the FBI on Monday morning.

What happens if the men are found guilty?