Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him, having been indicted over allegations that he conspired to defraud the US, laundered money,and a number of other charges.
Mr Manafort, and a business associate Rick Gates - who also pleaded not guilty - were indicted by a federal grand jury on 12 counts including alsoviolating federal lobbying and banking laws, the office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's said. Mr Mueller's team is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, as well as any possible links between Russian officials and the Trump campaign.
"The indictment contains 12 counts: 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," the counsel said in a statement.
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The indictments were two of three that were revealed on Monday. George Papadopolous, a former foreign policy adviser for the Trump campaign, was also revealed to have pleaded guilty earlier this month to lying to FBI investigators over his contacts last year with two people with apparently close ties to their government.
Mr Trump has denied the allegations of collusion with the Russians and called the probe “a witch hunt.” The Kremlin also has denied the allegations.
Mr Mueller, a former director of the FBI, has been looking into possible links between Trump aides and foreign governments, for months. He also is exploring whether Trump or his aides have tried to obstruct the investigation.
Mr Mueller was appointed to lead the investigation a week after Mr Trump's 9 May firing of FBI Director James Comey, who was heading a federal probe into possible collusion with Russia. Mr Trump initially said he fired Mr Comey because his leadership of the FBI was inadequate. In a later interview with NBC, he cited “this Russia thing” as his reason.
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