Former Trump campaign Chairman Paul Manafort was indicted this morning by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. From what we know so far, the charges are likely to include tax fraud as a major component. Manafort’s business interests had been a subject of concern since he joined the Trump campaign back in 2016 for about a month. In response to the concerns at the time, Manafort was dumped from the post in short order when Kellyanne Conway and Steve Bannon were promoted to run the campaign.
The major point to take away from this indictment is that Robert Mueller has basically nothing in regard to any collusion with Russia during the 2016 election. Manafort’s financial dealings were questionable long before he joined the Trump campaign, and this indictment seems little more than Mueller trying to justify his salary by bringing the hammer down on someone for something.
As one twitter user put it:
Liberals were hoping for something major. What they got was a nothingburger but they’ll tout it as if it matters. Manafort may go to trial, he may even be convicted. Or the President might even pardon him, who knows. But the end result will mean very little for the country or the Trump administration. Donald’s not going anywhere, sorry libs! (Not sorry!)
Mueller’s investigation has been tainted from the beginning and has lost all credibility, especially in recent days. As the President pointed out, the real Russia story involves the Clintons and the FBI:
As we’ve pointed out before, the Trump-Russia story is nonsense and has been propped up by the likes of CNN and other scam media outlets looking to make a buck.
Now we know there are twelve counts in the indictment, all related to Manafort’s financial dealings before joining the Trump campaign. As Ed Morrisey points out at Hot Air, there is nothing connecting any of this to the Trump campaign and/or Russian collusion:
As special counsel, Mueller has a wide scope to charge and prosecute any crime he uncovers in the course of his investigation — and the DoJ is likely happy to let Mueller deal with the political headache of Manafort anyway. But that doesn’t mean that the indictment of Manafort and Gates has anything to do with Donald Trump or the election, at least not at this time. (Gates also worked on the campaign, but as a lower-level figure, whose most prominent moment was in the Melania Trump plagiarism kerfuffle at the convention.)
This is about Manafort and Gates, and nothing more. There is no connection to the campaign or Russian collusion.