Robert Mueller, the independent special counsel in the investigation on Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, has handed down indictments to three former staffers in Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
The three men who have been indicted are Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his former business associate Rick Gates as well former foreign policy campaign adviser George Papadopoulos. Manafort and Gates are facing charges of money laundering from a Ukrainian political party that has ties to the Russian government as well as failure to report that they were foreign agents. Both have currently been placed on home confinement; they are both pleading not guilty.
Kevin Downing, Manafort’s attorney, issued the following statement:
Papadopoulos plead guilty for lying to the FBI about his correspondences with the Russians. Emails show that Papadopoulos was in contact with the Russians about possibly securing a meeting with Trump to receive some opposition research on Hillary Clinton; the indictment alleges that Papadopoulos lied about those correspondences.
Papadopoulos’ attorneys issued a statement that they wouldn’t comment on the matter until the case reaches court:
Trump tweeted that the indictments didn’t reveal any evidence of collusion between his presidential campaign and Russia:
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders downplayed the indictments.
“Today’s announcement has nothing to do with the President, has nothing to do with the President’s campaign or campaign activity,” said Sanders. “The real collusion scandal, as we have said several times before, has everything to do with the Clinton campaign, Fusion GPS, and Russia.”
The White House has also stated that they expect Mueller’s investigation to wrap up soon.