BY: TANNER KENNEY
What: Synopsis & Speculation Surrounding the Nature of Today’s Sealed Charges Filed by the Mueller Team against Paul Manafort & Rick Gates
When: February 21st, 2018
New charges were levied this morning related to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. However, the content and nature of the filings are unknown as the documents have been sealed by the judge presiding over the Paul Manafort and Rick Gates proceedings.
Coupled with the now-infamous “Person A” referenced in yesterday’s unsealed indictments, the cases against Manafort and Gates have grown far beyond the all-out assault on democracy via social media during the 2016 elections. Americans have come to understand, in recent months that these efforts were led in part by the Russian government and its agents, including non-state actors like attorney Alex Van Der Zwaan, who himself indicted yesterday.
Both Manafort and Gates have pleaded not guilty to the charges filed against them by the Justice Department via Robert Mueller and his team. These filings may be a sign that neither has cooperated to the extent hoped for by the Special Counsel and may file additional charges against them to compel them to cooperate, testify on behalf of the government, and/or beyond.
From basic financial fraud to interfering in American elections, both men are ensnared in massive, yet currently-separate scandals that may coalesce to form the basis for the adjudication of a variety of crimes. Today’s sealed indictments may be the last filed prior to reaching plea-agreements to secure testimony by both parties against high-value targets in the investigation.
More recently, Gates fired his team of attorneys and replaced them with one who specializes in these types of agreements. It has come to light that Manafort may have submitted for bail a home that was improperly financed, thereby negatively affecting his chances to secure a similar remedy for his protégé.
But if they choose not to do so, both men face decades behind bars.
Tanner Kenney is an energy and media professional with a background in journalism and received his M.S. in Global Affairs, Environment & Energy Policy from NYU’s Center for Global Affairs. Recently, Tanner has focused on the advocacy of sustainable development through renewable energy technologies, transportation efficiency, and inclusive public policy.
Photo Credit: New York Times