Speed Reads

The Manafort Indictment

Manafort spokesman dismisses Mueller indictment as a 'very novel theory'

Paul Manafort, the former chairman of President Trump's 2016 campaign, was indicted Monday on 12 counts stemming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russian election interference. Manafort was implicated along with a former business associate, Richard Gates; both pled not guilty to the charges Monday and are on house arrest.

In a statement Monday afternoon, Manafort spokesman Kevin Downing dismissed Mueller's case against his client as "ridiculous" and a "very novel theory," singling out the charges of money laundering and false statements related to foreign lobbying in particular. "Today you see an indictment brought by the Office of Special Counsel that is using a very novel theory to prosecute Mr. Manafort regarding a [Foreign Agents Registration Act] filing. The United States government has only used that offense six times since 1966 and only resulted in one conviction."

Downing continued: "The second thing about this indictment that I, myself, find most ridiculous is a claim that maintaining offshore accounts to bring all your funds into the United States, as a scheme to conceal from the United States government, is ridiculous."

Read the full statement below. Kimberly Alters