Clinton, Hillary Rodham

There Was a Deluge of Developments on the Russia Investigation Today. Here’s a Wrap-Up of What Happened.

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• Google, Facebook and Twitter revealed new information that underlines the breadth of the Kremlin’s efforts to sow political discord using American technology platforms.

• Tony Podesta — a major Democratic donor, lobbyist and brother of Mrs. Clinton’s 2016 campaign chairman, John D. Podesta — stepped down from his firm as he came under scrutiny for past work with Mr. Manafort.

The charges against Mr. Manafort and his associate stem from work done with a pro-Russia politician in Ukraine.


Video: Paul Manafort, Former Top Trump Adviser, Surrenders to F.B.I.

Paul Manafort surrendered to federal authorities on Monday.

By REUTERS. Photo by Alex Brandon/Associated Press. Watch in Times Video »

Without mentioning Mr. Trump or his campaign, the indictment focuses on Mr. Manafort’s lobbying work between 2006 and 2015 for Viktor F. Yanukovych, the onetime president of Ukraine and pro-Russia politician. Prosecutors said Mr. Manafort and Mr. Gates schemed to hide money received for that work from tax collectors and the public. Mr. Manafort is also facing investigations by state and local authorities in New York.

Here are some of the key points in the indictment, or you can read the 31-page document yourself.


Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, was indicted on charges including conspiracy, money laundering and other charges. Mr. Manafort’s business associate, Rick Gates, was also charged.

OPEN Document

Mr. Manafort got his start in politics on the presidential campaigns of Gerald R. Ford and Ronald Reagan and made his fortune outside of electoral politics in lobbying. His work on the Trump campaign, rather than being a crowning achievement, instead commenced a series of events that would set the stage for his downfall. And Mr. Gates, a longtime protégé of Mr. Manafort’s who was also charged, found himself deeply entangled in the Russia inquiry.

Mr. Papadopoulos’s plea revealed that the Trump campaign had early word that Russia had Democrats’ stolen emails.

The plea of Mr. Papadopoulos, a young foreign policy consultant whom Mr. Trump once praised as an “excellent guy,” shifted the narrative of the Trump campaign’s interactions with Russia, revealing that Russian officials alerted the campaign, through an intermediary in April 2016, that they possessed thousands of Democratic emails and other “dirt” on Mrs. Clinton.

According to the plea documents, Mr. Papadopoulos repeatedly tried to set up a meeting between campaign officials and the Russian government.

Mr. Trump and his advisers said the charges did not prove collusion with Russia.

The White House said that the indictments had nothing to do with Mr. Trump or his election campaign and instead sought to refocus attention on Democrats and their actions during the race. Shortly after the charges were announced, Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter: “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?????” In a second tweet, minutes later, he added, “….Also, there is NO COLLUSION!”

But despite a White House response at times peppered with misleading and obfuscating claims, Monday’s developments propelled the investigation into a new and more dangerous phase for Mr. Trump and amounted to a political body blow to a president who has spent months insisting that the investigation was nothing more than a “witch hunt” based on a “hoax.”

The charges are a significant escalation in the Russia inquiry.

The special counsel leading the investigation, Robert S. Mueller III, was assigned in May to look into whether anyone close to Mr. Trump participated in a Russian government effort to influence last year’s presidential election. Monday’s indictments indicate that Mr. Mueller has taken an expansive view of his mandate.

Here’s a closer look at several current and former associates of the president who have been linked to Russia.

Read reactions from the right and the left, and from Times readers.

In our roundup of opinions from around the web, conservative writers mostly seemed to focus on the fact that the charges against Mr. Manafort didn’t implicate Mr. Trump, while liberal writers zeroed in on Mr. Papadopoulos’s plea.

And our coverage of the indictment drew a flurry of reaction from New York Times readers, with more than 2,200 comments in the first three hours after it was published. Read what some of them had to say.

Continue reading the main story

Wendy Pettit

Wendy Pettit is a writer for NYT and writes for other publications on her spare time. She lives in Chicago with her husband and her dog Zuko.

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