The indictments are flying around and you get the impression that this is just the start. Former Trump campaign head Paul Manafort and his business partner Rick Gates have handed themselves into the FBI, appeared in Court and pleaded not guilty to charges including conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, acting as unregistered agents of Ukraine’s government, false and misleading statements and failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts. These do not relate directly to his involvement in Trump’s campaign manager but news of another indictment does.
From Radio New Zealand:
A third adviser to Mr Trump’s campaign is facing criminal charges after George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents, the federal special counsel says.
The international energy lawyer who was on Trump’s advisory team during the 2016 presidential campaign pleaded guilty on 5 October in a case unsealed on Monday, the office of special counsel Robert Mueller said in a statement.
The court document said Mr Papadopolous made false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation shortly after Trump’s inauguration on 20 January, when the law enforcement agency had an open investigation into Russian government efforts to interfere in the 2016 US presidential campaign.
The special counsel said Mr Papadopoulos told FBI agents he had been in contact with an unnamed foreign “professor” who claimed to have “dirt” on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails” and that Papadopolous claimed such contacts occurred before he joined Trump’s campaign.
However, the prosecutor said Mr Papadopolous in fact did not meet the professor until after he joined Mr Trump’s campaign.
The way I see it this is the most important development. It provides a direct link between the Trump campaign and Russian attempts to influence the election result. And it looks like Papadopoulous is singing like a canary. From the statement of the offence filed in the Court:
Meanwhile the Whitehouse displays a disturbing sense of unreality. And Republicans are trying to prove that Russia is Hillary’s problem not Trump’s.
They have concocted this bizarre conspiracy where someone who owned an interest in a uranium company that was sold to Russian interests and made a donation to Clinton many years ago is evidence of some sort of collusion even though 9 Government departments signed the deal off.
The conspiracy received a real dousing in the video in this tweet.
Have you ever seen Wolf Blitzer do this? Brian Williams? pic.twitter.com/qqBxg3EDir
— Jay Rosen (@jayrosen_nyu) October 29, 2017
The Donald is unrepentant.
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?????
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 30, 2017
And Fox News had other more pressing things to worry about rather than the arrests.
Fox & Friends is on a commercial break right now, but here is what they were discussing a few minutes ago. pic.twitter.com/gqpgtwx7XH
— Marina Fang (@marinafang) October 30, 2017
Who knows where this will end. Although I hope Papadopolous has good security because people crossing Russia have had problems in the past.