Manafort, whose brief tenure atop Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign was a disaster, turned himself into federal authorities after he was indicted on Friday in connection with the investigation being run by former FBI director Robert Mueller.
One of his business associates and deputy manager on the Trump campaign, Rick Gates, was also indicted in connection with Mueller’s investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
The indictments center around Manafort’s failure to disclose payments received from the political party of former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych.
Remember him? He’s the democratically elected leader who was ousted by a CIA-assisted coup back in 2014.
(For more on that drama, CLICK HERE).
“Manafort used his hidden overseas wealth to enjoy a lavish lifestyle in the United States without paying taxes on that income,” the federal indictment alleged.
Manafort and Gates also “repeatedly provided false information to financial bookkeepers, tax accountants and legal counsel, among others” regarding their Ukrainian riches.
Last March, Manafort replaced Corey Lewandowski – the operative who guided Trump to his improbable GOP primary victory. His tenure didn’t last long. In August, he was replaced by Kellyanne Conway, who along with strategist Steve Bannon guided Trump to his general election win over Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Clinton, incidentally, is also the focus of a separate Russian investigation.
Our intrepid D.C. Operative was unimpressed by Mueller’s first scalps, arguing that the administration of Barack Obama’s exposure to Russian influence is well-documented (and includes former White House chief of staff John Podesta).
Here’s his take …
So, (Manafort) was unsuccessfully hiding the fact that he represented Ukraine and didn’t pay taxes on all the cash he was paid. Ok. Seems fairly straightforward. Why is he only being prosecuted now? The Obama Justice Department/FBI was investigating him and didn’t do squat. Isn’t it fair to say that Obama and company might have been covering up for Manafort to protect Podesta or whomever else was involved in this? It’s not like Mueller is some super sleuth that cracked the case no one else could solve over the past few years. Before Mueller the FBI under a very partisan Justice Department couldn’t figure out that Manafort had a bunch of fake companies and raked in Ukraine cash and didn’t pay taxes? Give me a break.