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New charges brought against former Pres. Trump campaign associates

New charges brought against former Pres. Trump campaign associates”

He took over an ongoing FBI investigation into Mr Manafort's foreign lobbying work.

His earlier indictment of the pair charges them with money laundering, criminal conspiracy and other crimes.

The new indictment was filed in Northern Virginia and accuses Manafort and associate Rick Gates of acting as "unregistered agents of a foreign government and foreign political parties". President Donald Trump's former campaign chair, Paul Manafort, is accused of making secret payoffs to European politicians.

"Notwithstanding that Rick Gates pled today, I continue to maintain my innocence".

The indictment in Virginia was the second round of charges against Gates and against Manafort. He says Gates chose to plead guilty for "reasons yet to surface".

The charges against van der Zwana was launched on February 16 in Federal court in Washington.

The new indictment comes a week after Mueller sought charges against 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities, accusing them of interfering in the 2016 USA presidential elections.

The White House said on Friday that the latest charges against Manafort and Gates were unrelated to Trump.

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Gates and Manafort were both indicted in October 2017.

The allegations were made by DOJ special counsel Robert Mueller, who was appointed in April to investigate allegations of collusion between Trump and Russian actors during the campaign.

The guilty plea could dramatically change the dynamics in the investigation, just one day after Mueller unsealed a slew of new financial and tax charges to the criminal case against Gates and his longtime colleague, Paul Manafort.

There were several conflicting reports this week about whether he would plea, with The Daily Beast reporting on Thursday that Gates was ending negotiations with Mueller's team. The associate spoke on condition of anonymity.

During a hearing in federal court, Gates said he was aware that as part of the agreement, he must cooperate with the Mueller investigation on "all matters" they deem relevant.

After a two-month stretch that produced no charges, the new indictment is part of a flurry of activity for Mr Mueller's team within the past week.

The initial charges accused them of a multimillion-dollar money-laundering conspiracy tied to lobbying work for a Russia-friendly Ukrainian political party.

The plea deal in the Washington federal district court, on charges vastly reduced from the original ones filed against Gates, immediately put him at odds with his former business partner and ex-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who refuses to bow to pressure from Mueller to strike a deal. That indictment focused not on events in the 2016 race but financial transactions involving work by Manafort and Gates for a Ukrainian political party, and their failure to notify US authorities that they were allegedly acting as lobbyists for a foreign government.



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