Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been ordered to surrender to federal authorities as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference during the 2016 presidential election.
Manafort was seen walking into the FBI’s field office in Washington.
It remains unclear what specific charges Manafort—along with longtime business associate Rick Gates—will face once in federal custody. Their surrender marks the first in what many expect to be a series of high profile targets in Mueller’s probe.
Manafort, whose Virginia home was raided by the FBI as part of the investigation in late July, has long been suspected of potentially criminal financial dealings and lobbying violations. He spent five months working on then-candidate Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, including three months serving as campaign chairman following the departure of campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.
“Paul is a great asset and an important addition as we consolidate the tremendous support we have received in the primaries,” a Trump campaign press release stated at the time Manafort joined the operation. However, Mueller’s interest in Manafort’s dealings have elicited a decidedly different tone from the Trump White House, which has sought to downplay Manafort’s role in the campaign.
Donald Trump spent his Monday morning staying true to form by tweeting at his favorite TV show.
Fox News also spent nearly 40 minutes ignoring the Manafort news:
Representatives for neither Manafort nor Gates were available for comment when reached by the New York Times on Monday morning.
The indictment contains 12 counts: conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading FARA statements, false statements, and seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts.
Update, 10:37 AM: As expected, President Trump addressed Manafort and Gates’ indictments on Twitter:
Update, 2:17 PM: Manafort and Gates appeared in court on Monday afternoon. Both men pleaded “not guilty.”