Thursday, November 2, 2017

7 Takeaways From Mueller’s Charges In Russia Collusion Probe

Are the indictments against Paul Manafort and Rick Gates a huge deal? Is Trump on course to be impeached? It depends on who you ask and may take some time to determine.
Former Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his associate Rick Gates were indicted by a federal grand jury on 12 counts, including conspiracy to launder a whopping $75 million, and false and misleading federal filings. They pleaded not guilty on Monday. In addition, Trump foreign policy advisor George Papadopolous was revealed to have pleaded guilty to making false statements in an FBI interview about his discussions with Russia-related contacts earlier in the year.
Is this a huge deal? Is Trump on course to be impeached? Is it not that big of a deal and unrelated to the long-promised proof of Trump’s illegal ties to Russia? It depends on who you ask and may take some time to determine. Here are a few takeaways.
1. Whatever It Is, It’s Not Nothing
President Trump likes to say that Manafort wasn’t his campaign chairman for long. After Special Counsel Robert Mueller raided Manafort’s home this summer, Trump said, “He was with the campaign, as you know, for a very short period of time—for a relatively short period of time.”
That’s true, but the two have known each other for decades and Manafort was not just the Republican candidate’s campaign chairman, but chairman of the campaign at a very important time, from mid-May to mid-August of 2016. This time period included the fraught Republican Convention at which Manafort orchestrated a harsh shutdown of grassroots Republican opposition to Trump’s nomination.
Gates’ indictment relates to his work with Manafort, but he has his own relationship with Trump, including being an early visitor to the White House and the vice-chair of Trump’s Inaugural Committee.
The two are accused of laundering more than $75 million in foreign funds. However you slice it, two associates of Donald Trump getting caught up in a money laundering scheme is not going to burnish the president’s image.
Read for from Mollie Hemingway HERE at The Federalist.

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