Politics

Paul Manafort Indicted – Still No Proof Russia Rigged 2016 Election

“Manafort and his business associate, Rick Gates, now face decades in prison and millions of dollars in fines.”

Former campaign manager for President Donald Trump, Paul Manafort is facing 12 charges NOT related to the presidential campaign or any Russian conspiracy on Election 2016, according to a report by BBC News. Instead, they are the result of Manafort’s pre-campaign business dealings with Ukraine as part of his work for pro-Russian politicians up to 2016. The charges include but are not limited to: conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money in the millions and tax fraud. Manafort was fired from the campaign by Trump in August 2016 when details of his Ukraine ties emerged.

The Associated Press reports Manafort and his business associate Rick Gates now face decades in prison and millions of dollars in fines. However, an investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller remains looking for any connections between Russia and the Trump campaign.

Somewhat ironically, the evidence collected on Manafort was collected at least in part due to a FISA warrant obtained by the FBI to verify the still unsubstantiated “Russian dossier” that made waves in the final stretch to Election Day 2016. The dossier has recently resurfaced in the headlines this past week with breaking news that the DNC and Clinton campaign at least in part paid Fusion GPS – and Russian connections – for its compilation. At the time, however, then presidential candidate Hillary Clinton claimed it was proof positive of Trump collusion with Russia just weeks before ballots were to be cast.

The dossier investigation could also pose a significant Fourth Amendment problem for prosecutors in the upcoming trial, reports Law Newz. Though it has also been revealed Manafort has been under investigation specifically related to Ukraine since 2014.

According to a CNN report, “Some of the intelligence collected includes communications that sparked concerns among investigators that Manafort had encouraged the Russians to help with the campaign, according to three sources familiar with the investigation. Two of these sources, however, cautioned that the evidence is not conclusive.”

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Sheena Hutchison

Sheena Hutchison is a political and media analyst with nearly a decade of experience specializing in providing media and policy articulation on domestic and national security issues.

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