Mueller is really sinking his teeth into Paul Manafort and Richard Gates, more than doubling the criminal charges against them:
LA TIMES – Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III filed a vastly expanded criminal indictment against President Trump’s former campaign manager and his partner on Thursday, more than doubling the number of charges they face.
Paul W. Manafort Jr. and Richard J. Gates III were first charged with 12 counts on Oct. 30. Both pleaded not guilty, although Gates is expected to plead guilty and testify against Manafort.
The new, superseding indictment includes 16 counts related to false individual income tax returns, seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts. five counts of bank fraud conspiracy and four counts of bank fraud.
The expanded charges ratchet up the legal danger they face in court.
Manafort and Gates both had worked on behalf of Ukraine’s pro-Russia government, but that work dried up after President Viktor Yanukovych fled the country in 2014, according to the indictment.
Afterward, the indictment says, they secured more than $20 million in fraudulent loans by “falsely inflating Manafort’s and his company’s income and by failing to disclose existing debt.”
The alleged scheme lasted through 2016, according to the indictment, but it does not mention their work on the Trump campaign or any cooperation with Russian operatives who used social media, hacking and other tactics to meddle in the U.S. presidential race.
As the article notes, it doesn’t appear to have anything to do with the Trump campaign or Russian collusion. But the hot water is rising on Manafort and Gates so you never know what might turn up because of this.