Manafort charges carry up to 40 years in prison

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Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort surrendered to the FBI Monday morning, and he could face up to 40 years in prison if he is found guilty on all charges.

Manafort was charged along with a former business associate, Rick Gates. Last year, Reuters reported that Gates acted as an unpaid, de facto campaign manager for then-candidate Donald Trump for two months and worked for a super PAC supporting Trump during the campaign.

The pair was charged with 12 counts, according to the indictment unsealed Monday morning: conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading FARA statements, false statements, and seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts.

Manafort and Gates could lose most of their assets, as several of the charges require property forfeiture if they are found guilty. Additionally, several of the charges carry prison sentences, and the pair could serve up to 40 years.

Conspiracy to commit offense or defraud the United States carries a maximum sentence of up to five years, as does the violation of a statute related to record and reports on foreign agency transactions.

The violation of a statute relating to unregistered agents of a foreign principal also carries a maximum sentence of up to five years, and the violation of a statute related to false statements carries a sentence of up to five years, as well.

The charge that could carry the longest sentence is the violation of a statute related to money laundering, which could carry up to 20 years in prison.

Manfort and Gates are the first people indicted as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, including whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Kremlin.

Trump responded to Manafort’s indictment on Twitter Monday morning, tweeting, “Sorry, but this is years ago, before Paul Manafort was part of the Trump campaign. But why aren’t Crooked Hillary & the Dems the focus?????”

Three minutes later, he added, “….Also, there is NO COLLUSION!”

Manafort and Gates weren’t the only Trump associates charged, and on Monday morning, George Papadopolous, a former Trump campaign adviser, pleaded guilty to making false statements to FBI.

Manafort and Gates will appear at the DC federal courthouse at 1:30 p.m. Monday afternoon to be arraigned, according to a spokesperson for Mueller.

Mueller may choose not to pursue the maximum charges for Manafort and Gates and instead offer a more favorable plea bargain in exchange for their cooperation in the broader probe.

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