Donald Trump’s former campaign manager has been told to surrender to US federal authorities as part of the ongoing investigation into Russian meddling into the 2016 presidential election.
Paul Manafort along with his former business associate, Rick Gates, are reportedly the first to be charged in Special Counsel, Robert Mueller’s probe, reports CNN and The New York Times.
Last month it was revealed the FBI had searched the home of Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman as part of the investigation.
The Washington Post reported that “documents and other materials were seized” during the raid on July 26.
Manafort was photographed leaving his home accompanied by his lawyer on Monday morning.
#Breaking #MuellerMonday – @WUSA9 photojournalist captures Paul Manafort leaving his Alexandria home with his lawyer @CBSNews pic.twitter.com/wZGHKfY0qY
One day before, Manafort had met with Senate Intelligence Committee investigators to discuss a meeting between a Russian lawyer and members of Trump’s campaign team that took place during the 2016 presidential election.
Jeffrey Toobin: If anybody thinks the Mueller investigation is going to be wrapping up, this decision guarantees it will go well into 2018 pic.twitter.com/iCftwFzBA6
Manafort “answered their questions fully,” their spokesman said.
On June 27, Manafort retroactively registered as a foreign agent thanks to $17.1 million his firm was paid from 2012 to 2014 for lobbying work he did on behalf of a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine.
Mueller’s team is reportedly also looking into a dossier containing explosive, unverified allegations regarding Trump and his associates, compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele for the research firm Fusion GPS.
US intelligence agencies concluded in January that Russia interfered in the election to try to help Trump defeat Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton through a campaign of hacking and releasing embarrassing emails, and disseminating propaganda via social media to discredit her campaign.
Mueller is investigating whether Trump campaign officials colluded with those Russian efforts.
He is also examining other possible crimes, including obstruction of justice, money-laundering and tax evasion.
Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller, declined to comment to Reuters about the CNN report on Friday.
Trump, a Republican who was elected president last November, has denied allegations that his campaign colluded with Russians and condemned investigations into the matter as a witch hunt.
The Kremlin has denied the allegations.