Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office reportedly served the first indictment in connection to the Russian election meddling investigation on Monday against President Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Manafort's former business associate, Rick Gates. The pair were told to surrender to federal authorities on Monday morning, The New York Times reports, adding that the specific charges "were not immediately clear."
Manafort was under investigation before Mueller was appointed, and Mueller's team absorbed those probes into Manafort's actions in the election, as well as his real estate and financial dealings, including those in Ukraine, where he worked for a Russia-linked political party. Manafort is suspected additionally of money laundering, violating tax laws, and improperly disclosing his foreign lobbying.
Wired writes that Mueller's approach to the investigation will likely follow a historic pattern: "Work on peripheral figures first, encourage them to cooperate with the government against their bosses in exchange for a lighter sentence, and then repeat the process until the circle has closed tightly around the godfather or criminal mastermind. There's no reason to think that this investigation will be any different."
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