By Christian Smith
A federal grand jury has charged a former aide of President Donald Trump in his dealing with Ukraine.
Paul Manafort, a former campaign chairman to Mr Trump’s presidential campaign faces a 12 count charge including money laundering, undisclosed lobbying for a foreign government which has links to Russia, and conspiracy against the United States.
The US President has responded to the allegation on twitter, saying they date before Mr Manafort joined his campaign in March 2016.
He added that: “There is NO COLLUSION!”
According to the the New York Times, Mr Manafort who arrived at an FBI building with his lawyer at 8:15 am this morning, and Rick Gates, a junior business partner of Manafort’s, were the first people to face charges in the investigation into alleged Russian ‘meddling’ in last year’s presidential election.
Both men are expected to appear in court in Washington in a few hours.
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The charges which were the first to be released by special council Robert Muller, were filled after George Papadopolous, a foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign admitted lying to the FBI about his contact with Russians who promised “dirt” on the Democratic Presidential candidate in the form of email.
The indicting files claim: “Manafort and Gates concealed from the Unites States their work as agents of, and millions of dollars in payments from, Ukraine and its political parties and leaders.”
Manafort who was fired by the campaign team in August, “used his hidden overseas wealth to enjoy a lavish lifestyle in the United States, without paying taxes on that income.
“Manafort, without reporting the income to his tax preparer or the United States, spent millions of dollars on luxury goods and services for himself and his extended family through payments wired from offshore nominee accounts to United States vendors.”