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Manafort and Gates charged with conspiracy against the United States in 12-count indictment

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Paul Manafort speaks to NBC News (screen grab)

The indictment against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his longtime colleague Rick Gates has been released — and it includes 12 counts, including charges of money laundering, tax evasion and conspiracy against the United States.

The indictment represents the first charges stemming from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of possible Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

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The indictment, which was released on Monday morning, accuses Manafort and Gates of engaging in a money laundering conspiracy over a span of a decade related to their work for a Kremlin-backed political party in Ukraine. Gates served as served as his deputy in the Trump campaign

“Manafort and Gates generated tens of millions of dollars in income as a result of their Ukraine work,” the indictment alleges. “In order to hide Ukraine payments from United States authorities, from approximately 2006 through at least 2016, Manafort and Gates laundered money through scores of United States and foreign corporations, partnerships and bank accounts.”

The indictment’s timeline suggests that Manafort was engaged in an illegal conspiracy even while he was serving as Trump’s campaign manager.

In total, the indictment claims Manafort laundered over $18 million that he used to buy “property, goods, and services in the United States, income that he concealed from the United States Treasury.”

Manafort and Gates were charged on Friday in the District of Columbia. The indictment was unsealed Monday morning.

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Both men have surrendered to the FBI.

Read the full indictment here.


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2020 Election

‘So, so cruel’: Rights advocates sound alarm about immigration agenda Stephen Miller is crafting for Trump’s 2nd term

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Immigrant rights advocates along with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his supporters responded with alarm to reporting this week that Stephen Miller, a senior adviser to President Donald Trump, is plotting how to "rev up Trump's restrictive immigration agenda" and is ready to "unleash executive orders deemed too extreme for a president seeking reelection" in the event of a Biden loss next week.

NBC News reported Friday that Miller, speaking as an adviser to the president's campaign, laid out four top priorities in a 30-minute call Thursday: "limiting asylum grants, punishing and outlawing 'sanctuary cities,' expanding the so-called travel ban with tougher screening for visa applicants, and slapping new limits on work visas." Implementing these policies would require a mix of legislation and executive action.

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2020 Election

REVEALED: Far-right extremists are circulating plans to lock down Arizona streets if Trump is re-elected

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On Saturday, The Arizona Republic reported that far-right paramilitary groups are circulating plans to lock down neighborhoods in the Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan area in the event that President Donald Trump is re-elected, supposedly to police left-wing protesters.

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2020 Election

America’s crimes against humanity aren’t on the ballot this year — but they should be

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The 2020 presidential election is a life-and-death decision for thousands of people vulnerable to COVID-19, for a globe under the assault from the climate crisis, and for the future of American democracy. And yet for all the urgency, the political campaign still suffers under the weight and stench of bullshit.

This article first appeared in Salon.

Philosopher Harry Frankfurt warns in his bestselling pamphlet "On Bullshit" that "bullshit" is more injurious than the blatant lie. One reason among many is that bullshit blurs the line between reality and fiction, offering a manipulative incorporation of truth to strengthen its own capacity to persuade. Absolute falsity, in contrast, is obvious to anyone with minimal awareness of the facts. When the Trump administration recently declared that one of its grand achievements was "ending the pandemic," most people laughed in disbelief. This is a lie fit for consumption only from inhabitants of a collective similar to the Rev. Jim Jones' notorious People's Temple settlement in Guyana.

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