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On Friday, Robert Mueller announced that the first indictments were being made in the the special council’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 American presidential election. While it’s common (and confirmed) knowledge that there was Russian meddling, the real questions now are: ‘Were there any Americans involved?’ and ‘Was there collusion between the Trump campaign and foreign agents?’

On Monday it was revealed that the indictments were for Paul Manafort–Donald Trump’s former campaign manager–and his long-time business associate who was also part of the campaign and Trump administration, Rick Gates. They turned themselves in to the FBI Monday morning. Afterwards, the full indictment was released which includes the 12 charges for which Manafort and Gates are being indicted.

The charges include: conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, unregistered agent of foreign principal, making false statements and several counts of failing to file reports of foreign financial accounts. The full indictment document states that Manafort and Gates from 2006 to 2015 ‘acted as unregistered agents of the Government of Ukraine’ and other Ukrainian political parities. In order to hide the tens of millions of dollars they generated from this work from American authorities, they laundered the money through ‘scores’ of domestic and foreign bank accounts and corporations between the years of 2006 and 2016.

We can’t get ahead of ourselves here though. These charges are not related to the 2016 election at all as far as we know. These indictments are in relation to illegal personal business ventures made by these men before their involvement with the Trump campaign. What we’ve seen so far doesn’t implicate Donald Trump in any Russia collusion or even prove that there was collusion by his campaign.

What this does mean is that these men could be looking at a lot of jail time and they might have some leverage if they can provide information on actual meddling by the campaign. That’s just speculation right now, but it’s a possibility. Manafort and Gates are scheduled to make their first court appearances at 1:30 EST Monday.

Later in the morning, it was revealed that on October 5, former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about the ‘timing, extent and the nature of his relationships and interactions with certain former nationals whom he understood to have close connections with senior Russian government officials.’

Papadopoulos met with a Russian professor in March 2016 who contacted him about having ‘dirt’ on presidential opponent Hillary Clinton. Later in the spring, Papadopoulos also corresponded with and met with a Russian national, who claimed to be a niece of President Vladimir Putin, for the same purpose. It turns out the woman was not actually related to Putin.

Donald Trump got defensive about the unsealed indictments on Twitter this morning. Reports from the White House say that he spent the morning watching the news and receiving briefings on the revelations in the investigation.

Apparently he’s sticking to his age-old strategy: when things aren’t looking good, blame Hillary Clinton.

There will be more information available about what actually happened during the campaign after Manafort and Gates appear in court this afternoon.

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