Special Counsel Robert Mueller announced late Thursday that a Virginia grand jury has approved a slate of new charges against former Trump campaign executive Paul Manafort and Manafort’s former deputy, Rick Gates – a move that has been widely anticipated for weeks.
The two men are now facing 32 charges – that’s 20 more than the original 12-count indictment.
In October, Manafort and Rick Gates were indicted for laundering millions of dollars earned while purportedly acting as unregistered agents of the Ukrainian government. In the superseding indictment filed on Thursday in federal court in Washington, they face new charges of tax evasion and bank fraud, as Bloomberg pointed out.
“Manafort and Gates generated tens of millions of dollars in income as a result of their Ukraine work,” the new indictment said. “From approximately 2006 through the present, Manafort and Gates engaged in a scheme to hide income from United States authorities, while enjoying the use of the money.”
The charges were likely approved earlier this month, and have been under seal until today. The new indictment claims Paul Manafort laundered more than $30 million in income, with Gates’ assistance, and disguised more than $10 million in income from Cypriot entities by disguising them as loans. It also claims Manafort obtained millions of dollars in financing through “false and fraudulent” representations.
Thanks to legal wrangling over Manafort’s $10 million bail package, observers were given a hint of the charges late last week. NBC News reported yesterday that at least some of the bank fraud charges hinge on whether Manafort promised Stephen Calk, a Chicago Banker and president of the Federal Savings Bank, a position on Trump’s Council of Economic Advisers in August 2016. Manafort received three loans in total from Calk’s bank. Manafort borrowed nearly $18 million from the bank in 2016 and 2017.
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team is now investigating whether there was a quid pro quo agreement between Manafort and Calk. Manafort left the Trump campaign in August 2016 after the millions he had earned working for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine drew media scrutiny. Calk did not receive a job in President Donald Trump’s cabinet.
The sources say the three loans were questioned by other officials at the bank, and one source said that at least one of the bank employees who felt pressured into approving the deals is cooperating with investigators.
In court filings Friday related to Manafort’s bail, federal prosecutors said they have “substantial evidence” that a loan made from the bank to Manafort using the Virginia and Hamptons properties as collateral was secured through false representations made by Manafort, including misstatements of income.
This isn’t the only bad news for Manafort: A judge rejected a motion by Manafort’s legal team to modify the terms of his bail agreement.
According to the Hill, US District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson wrote in court documents that Manafort’s proposal to pledge his property in Alexandria, Va., as part of his $10 million bond was “unsatisfactory,” as the property is already pledged as collateral for a loan on one of Manafort’s other properties. Manafort must prove he is current with his mortgage payments on another property located on New York’s Fifth Avenue in order for it to be pledged as part of his bond.
The charges were first filed under seal Wednesday afternoon.
Rumors have circulated that Gates is preparing to cooperate with the government and testify against Manafort, his former boss. Gates’ legal team is scheduled to hold a sealed court hearing in Washington on Friday on a request by Gates’ lawyers to withdraw from the case – a sign that Gates might be preparing to turn against his old boss, according to CNBC.
Though the Daily Beast is now reporting that Gates has fired his lawyer.
The new charges, which carry potentially lengthy prison sentences, could increase the pressure on both men to cooperate in the probe.
Read the superseding indictment below:
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