UPDATED with details: President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Manafort’s former longtime colleague Rick Gates pleaded not guilty of charges resulting from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia election meddling probe.
Manafort’s bail was set at $10 million and Gates’ at $5M. Both men have been placed under house arrest, which, CNN legal pundit Jeffrey Toobin translated, means Mueller’s camp successfully made the case to the judge that both men are flight risks.
The two had been indicted on 12 counts, including “conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading FARA statements, false statements, and seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts.” TV news pundits noted the allegations of conspiracy against the U.S. continued through 2017, which would include Manafort’s relatively brief stint as Trump’s campaign chief last year.
The made their appearance at a federal court as White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was busy distracting TV cameras at her Monday press briefing.
TV news outlets’ super-busy Monday began early when Manafort and his longtime lobbying partner Gates surrendered to federal authorities early in the morning, after CNN reported Mueller’s highly hyped first indictments in his Russia probe could be unveiled today.
News that the high-level Trump campaign honcho collided with POTUS’ plans for a big week unveiling his tax reform plan and the start of his 12-day trip to Asia. The New York Times first reported that it’s Manafort and Gates who faced charges in Mueller’s first indictments.