President Trump's Campaign Manager Charged in Mueller Investigation

At this point in 2017, many are not shocked at yet another presidential scandal being added to the list. Seriously, did anyone even bat an eye? All jokes aside, this matter is serious, but the situation isn’t as bad as it sounds. Here is what went down:

Paul Manafort, the former campaign manager, has been indicted on 12 counts involving money laundering and tax evasion. Included in those charges is “conspiracy against the United States.” The situation is not good by any means, but it also is not treason. Basically, the charges accuse Manafort and longtime business partner, Rick Gates, of conspiring to commit offenses against and defraud the United States government, specifically the Justice and Treasury Departments. These charges do not specifically relate to the 2016 election.

Courtesy: Fox News

Let’s get into the specifics of what these conspiracy actions were. First, Manafort’s tax evasion is a habit of hiding money overseas. Second, the two failed to register as agents of a foreign principal when working with Ukraine and its former president. Third, Manafort and Gates repeatedly told lies to the United States government regarding their work for the Ukrainian president. The business partners furthered this conspiracy through a series of actions including false tax filings; illicit lobbying on Ukraine’s behalf; and the writing of unreported income from offshore accounts that paid for housing, landscaping, and luxury items. Allegedly, Manafort also bought property using hidden income from offshore accounts and lied to banks in order to secure loans.

Courtesy: CNN

The situation is serious and sketchy without a doubt, but it isn’t close to treason. Nothing in the indictment says that Manafort and Gates were in cahoots with Russia to sway the election. Rather, the charge is related to other charges of money laundering and lying to federal officials about foreign bank accounts and lobbying for the Ukrainian government. It’s not about betraying America.

Courtesy: TIME Magazine

The two were placed under house-arrest, at least through the weekend, and are being electronically monitored. Their attorneys pleaded to release them while they await trial, and the judge agreed to take up the matter again at a later hearing. In addition to the indictments, prosecutors received a guilty plea from campaign advisor George Papadopoulos, admitting to lying to the FBI about foreign contacts during the campaign.

Courtesy: Vox

There is some concern from the judge overseeing the trial, Amy Jackson, about Manafort posing a flight risk. Because he owns three passports, it would be easy for him to leave the country to avoid trial. Judge Jackson is hesitant to remove the electronic monitoring because of this issue. She is also not ready to commit to a trial schedule, so no trial date has been set. The whole situation is sketchy and makes Trump look really, really bad. Hopefully, we will get answers soon on whether or not the election was influenced by Russia or not.