Former Trump campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, had better make a deal like his partner, Rick Gates, because he’s been hit with some new accusations.
According to court filings on Friday by special counsel Robert Mueller’s team, they’re claiming newly discovered criminal conduct from Manafort, listed as “a series of bank frauds and bank fraud conspiracies” relating to a mortgage on Manafort’s property in Fairfax, Va.
Manafort had recently requested that the conditions of his bail agreement be reconsidered. Mueller denied the request, based in part on this new information.
“The proposed package is deficient in the government’s view, in light of additional criminal conduct that we have learned since the court’s initial bail determination,” the prosecutors wrote in the court filing rejecting the bail proposal.
Manafort offered the Fairfax home as collateral in the bail agreement. Investigators said they found “substantial evidence” that Manafort had moved to obtain a $9 million mortgage for the home “through a series of false and fraudulent representations to The Federal Savings Bank.”
To be clear, new charges have not been brought, as a result of this new information. At this time, the charges against Manafort stand at conspiracy against the U.S. and money laundering, based on foreign consulting work they did for the pro-Russia party in Ukraine.
Manafort’s defense seems to be contained in a lawsuit he brought in January against those federal prosecutors. His claim is that the charges brought against him are for things that happened before he was a part of Trump’s campaign team, and as such, Mueller had no business stepping outside of the parameters of the Russia probe, in order to dig into his dirty, dirty past.
He may have a point, but smart money says that Mueller, for whatever charges he’s brought against Manafort and Gates, is less interested in pursuing them than he is in using them to squeeze the duo for “other” information.
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