Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort is going to be arrested. We know this because Special Counsel Robert Mueller had the FBI inform Manafort that he’s going to be arrested when they raided his home this summer. We’re still waiting to see whether Manafort will be arrested tomorrow, but it’s clear that his arrest is forthcoming. Now new details are emerging regarding Manafort’s impending arrest.
Mueller and his team have zeroed in on thirteen large and suspicious financial transactions on the part of Paul Manafort, according to a new BuzzFeed report (link). These transactions point to alleged money laundering on Manafort’s part, as well as other potential financial crimes. Manafort was paid tens of millions of dollars by a Kremlin oligarch for his work in getting a Russian puppet elected in Ukraine, and he failed to register as a foreign agent for that work.
Manafort is facing potential criminal charges for having illegally failed to register when he took the foreign money to begin with, and for any financial crimes he may have committed with the money once he received it. This is before getting to the question of whether the particulars of Manafort’s work in Ukraine – which allegedly included a number of shady electioneering tactics – violated any U.S. laws. It’s also before getting to whether Manafort was illegally colluding with Russia on behalf of the Donald Trump campaign when he reportedly offered to provide regular briefings to the Kremlin oligarch who had previously employed him.
If Paul Manafort is arrested tomorrow, the criminal charges may have nothing to do with his role in running the Donald Trump campaign – but that would largely be the point. Robert Mueller’s goal is to nail Manafort as swiftly as possible on the most straightforward charges against him, thus backing Manafort into a corner and motivating him to confess to the Trump-related crimes as part of a deal.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report