Trump-Russia investigation: Manafort charged with tax fraud

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Donald Trump’s former presidential campaign manager, Paul Manafort, faces 12 charges of defrauding the US over his dealings with pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine.

Manafort, and one of his business associates, Rick Gates, are accused of laundering more than $18m (£14m) through offshore financial institutions to conceal purchases of property, goods, and services from US authorities.

The charges against Manafort and Gates are the first to arise from the wide-ranging investigation, led by former FBI director Robert Mueller, into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 US presidential election. Both sides deny the claims.

There was no immediate comment from lawyers for Manafort of Gates after the charges were revealed and the pair were ordered to surrender to US authorities.

Manafort led Trump’s presidential campaign until his resignation in August 2016 after allegations about his dealings with pro-Russia politicians in Ukraine, including former president Viktor Yanukovych, who was ousted from office in 2014 over his pro-Russia policies and ties to the Putin regime.

The US intelligence community has already concluded that Russia sought to help Trump win the election, but it remains unclear whether there was any formal coordination or collusion between Moscow and the trump campaign.

Further questions were raised about Trump-Russia connections earlier this month, when the Trump administration failed to impose sanctions against high-level Putin associates before the 1 October deadline. Trump has also consistently attempted to deflect any claims of his collusion by lying about ties between Hilary Clinton and Russia.

In the wake of the Manafort indictment, Trump tweeted:

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