The Centurion

Trump & Russia: What’s Going On?

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Sindy Colindres

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The ongoing investigation into
Donald Trump’s Russia ties has
reached a crescendo with the
unveiling of three indictments:
ex-campaign manager Paul
Manafort, Rick Gates, and George
Papadopoulos, with charges that
include conspiracy against the
U.S and making false statements
to the FBI about contacts with
Russian officials.
Here’s the backstory:
It all started in late October
when Paul Manafort, Donald
Trump’s former campaign
chairman, surrendered to the FBI,
alongside business associate Rick
Gates, after reports of Special
Counsel Robert Mueller issuing
the first indictments in the Russian
In June 2016, reports came out
saying that Manafort received
over $12 million in “undisclosed
payments” from the deposed
Ukrainian president, Viktor F.
Yanukovych. Yanukovych was
widely seen as a pro-Russian
figure, and fled to Moscow after
a NATO-aligned color revolution
seized power in his country.
According to indictment documents,
Manafort helped Yanukovych’s
centrist Party of Regions
win the 2012 Ukrainian election.
That party was disbanded after
Yanukovych’s overthrow in 2014,
and replaced by the center-left
Opposition Bloc, a Russia-aligned
social liberal party, which
Manafort helped found.
Manafort’s Ukrainian political
dealings earned him quite a
fortune: he ended up with tens of
millions of dollars, which he and
Gates hid from the U.S., ensuring
that they did not have to pay U.S
taxes on their Ukrainian earnings.
According to indictment documents,
Gates used the money
to pay off his mortgage and to
decorate his Virginia home.
This has resulted in a series of
charges (which include but are not
limited to):
•Conspiracy against the U.S.
•Conspiracy to launder money
•Unregistered Agents of a Foreign
• Giving false statements (2
•Failure to file reports of foreign
bank/financial accounts. (7
These indictments and the continuing
investigation into Trump’s
ties with Russia have been controversial,
with many students aware
and engaged with the events
According to CNN, both Paul
Manafort and Rick Gates ended
up pleading not guilty. However,
the conspiracy charges do not
have direction connection to
Mueller’s investigation.
“Rather, it is a general charge
stemming from any joint effort to
defraud the US and is tied to the
allegations involving Manafort
and Gates’ money,”BusinessInsider.
com claimed.
What about Trump’s former
campaign foreign policy adviser,
George Papadopoulos? Papadopoulos
pleaded guilty for lying to
the FBI about interactions with
the Russian Government. This
guilty plea helps Mueller confirm
his “probe into actions that occurred
during the 2016 campaign”
as CNN described it.
New information is still being
reported every day. The Paradise
Papers, a trove of leaked documents
from an offshore shell
company, showed that Trump’s
commerce secretary Wilbur Ross
holds stakes in companies that
deal with individuals sanctioned
by the U.S. government, as well
as Vladimir Putin’s son-in-law.

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The student newspaper of Bucks County Community College
Trump & Russia: What’s Going On?