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Trump Aide Pleads Guilty To Lying To The FBI

The plot thickens...
Trump Aide Pleads Guilty To Lying To The FBI

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Paul Manafort, a former campaign manager for President Donald Trump, was charged on Monday with money laundering and another onetime aide pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, in a sharp escalation of a federal probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Manafort, 68, a longtime Republican operative, and associate Rick Gates were arraigned at a federal courthouse in Washington.

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Both men pleaded not guilty to a series of charges in a 12-count indictment, ranging from money laundering to acting as unregistered agents of Ukraine's former pro-Russian government.

Neither Trump nor his campaign were mentioned in the indictment against the pair. Many of the charges, some of which go back more than a decade, have to do with Manafort's work for Ukraine rather than the Trump campaign.

But in a separate development directly related to Trump's 2016 election campaign, it emerged on Monday that former campaign adviser George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty earlier this month to making false statements to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents.

Investigations by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and several congressional panels into alleged Russian efforts to tilt the election in Trump's favor and potential collusion by Trump aides have cast a shadow over the Republican president's first nine months in office.

Manafort ran the Trump campaign from June to August of 2016 before resigning amid reports he might have received millions in illegal payments from a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine.

(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch and Karen Freifeld; Additional reporting by Doina Chiacu, Susan Heavey, Steve Holland and Mark Hosenball; Writing by Alistair Bell; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe, Frances Kerry and Jonathan Oatis)

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