Manafort, ex-associate face charges in U.S. Russia probe

Manafort arrived at FBI headquarters on Monday morning.

Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, one focus of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, hides behind his car visor as he leaves his home in Alexandria, Virginia, U.S. October 30, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Paul Manafort arrived at FBI’s Washington, D..C. headquarters Monday morning after reports that he has agreed to self-surrender to federal authorities amid an ongoing probe into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign.

The New York Times also reported that Manafort associate Rick Gates would also surrender.

Manafort, 68, served the Trump campaign from June to August of 2016 before resigning amid pressure from the Trump family who restructured the campaign leadership over the summer to minimize his influence.  Reports were surfacing at the time that Manafort may have received millions in illegal payments from a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine.  According to campaign sources over the summer, Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner reportedly directed the restructure over concern that Manafort was attempting to make changes to the platform that benefited Russia.

Federal special counsel Robert Mueller has been investigating Manafort’s financial and real estate dealings and his prior work for that political group, the Party of Regions, which backed former Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovich.

Investigators also examined potential money laundering by Manafort and other possible financial crimes, sources have told Reuters.

In July, FBI agents raided Manafort’s home in Virginia.

Mueller was appointed to lead the investigation a week after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, who was heading a federal probe into possible collusion with Russia.

Gates was a long-time business partner of Manafort and has ties to many of the same Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs. He also served as deputy to Manafort during his brief tenure as Trump’s campaign chairman.

Trump has denied any allegations of collusion with the Russians and called the probe “a witch hunt.” The Kremlin also has denied the allegations.

The Times, citing someone involved in the case, said Manafort’s former business associate Rick Gates was also told to surrender to U.S. authorities.

Insiders say that much of the information uncovered in the investigation, headed by special counsel Robert Mueller, predates the Trump campaign.

Manafort is also being investigated by the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan for potential money laundering, according to media reports. The U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York launched the probe in conjunction Mueller, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday. Bloomberg separately reported that subpoenas had been issued in the case.