Paul Manafort, former Trump advisor, pleads not guilty to all charges in Russia probe
Paul Manafort, a former campaign advisor on the Donald Trump 2016 campaign, has pleaded not guilty to a slew of charges, including conspiracy against the U.S., and is being held on $10 million bail bond.
His former business associate, Rick Gates also pleaded not guilty to charges and bail is set for $5 million. According to CNN, the government requested for the pair to be place under house arrest.
WATCH: Paul Manafort leaves court after pleading not guilty to charges in Russia probe
Manafort and Gates were indicted earlier in the day by a federal grand jury on 12 counts including money laundering and conspiracy charges by Robert Mueller’s special investigation into Trump’s campaign’s ties to Russia.
Manafort’s lawyer, Kevin Downing, said it’s clear that his client didn’t collude with Russia while working with the Trump campaign.
“I think you all saw today that President Donald Trump was correct,” Downing told reporters.
“There is no evidence that Mr. Manafort or the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government.”
Also on Monday, it was revealed that George Papadopoulos, a former foreign policy adviser to Trump, pleaded guilty earlier in October to making false statements to the FBI about meeting with Russian officials.
WATCH: Paul Manafort provided “no comment” as he turned himself in
Papadopoulos is the first person to face criminal charges that cite interactions between Trump campaign associates and Russian intermediaries during the 2016 presidential campaign.
White House responds
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders responded to the charges Monday, saying “they were activities that happened outside the scope of the campaign.”
She called Papadopoulos an “unimportant volunteer,” and his guilty plea had nothing to do with Trump’s campaign.
“Any actions he took would be on his own,” Sanders said.
Trump took to Twitter Monday and responded to the charges, saying, “Sorry, but this is years ago, before Paul Manafort was part of the Trump campaign. But why aren’t Crooked Hillary and the Dems the focus?”
The Trump administration further distanced itself from the news, saying the Russian meddling investigation didn’t come up during a meeting Monday between the president and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
The U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr also reacted to the indictments, saying they don’t “change anything” with their investigation into Russian meddling.
WATCH: Republican, Democratic and Independent senators react to indictments of Paul Manafort, Richard Gates
“We received documents from and had interest in two of the individuals named, but clearly the criminal charges put them in the Special Counsel’s purview,” Burr said in a statement.
The indictment doesn’t reference the Trump campaign or make any allegations about coordination between Russia and the president’s aides to influence the outcome of the election in Trump’s favor. The indictment does allege a criminal conspiracy was continuing through February 2017.
Manafort and Gates were also charged with being an unregistered agent of a foreign principal, making false and misleading statement and seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts.
“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 statement said.
READ: The 31-page federal indictment against ex-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and Richard Gates
The indictment said Manafort and Gates generated tens of millions of dollars of income from work for Ukrainian political parties and leaders and laundered money through U.S. and foreign entities to hide payments between 2006 and at least 2016.
Papadopoulos’ plea occurred on Oct. 5 and was unsealed Monday. In court papers, he admitted to lying about the nature of his interactions with “foreign nationals” who he thought had close connections to senior Russian government officials.
READ: Court papers into Papadopoulos show he met with Russian officials during Trump’s presidential campaign
In March 2016, Trump tweeted a picture of a meeting he had with his National Security Team, including George Papadopoulos, who was a campaign adviser at the time (who is seated in the middle to the left).
First charges in Russia probe
The charges are the first from Mueller’s investigation, who was appointed to look into alleged Russian meddling to sway the election in favor of Trump.
Manafort, 68, served the Trump campaign from June to August of 2016 before resigning amid reports he may have received millions in illegal payments from a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine.
WATCH: Investigation into Paul Manafort to dominate Washington politics this week
Mueller has been investigating Manafort’s financial and real estate dealings and his prior work for that political group, the Party of Regions, which backed former Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovich.
Gates was a long-time business partner of Manafort and has ties to many of the same Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs. He also served as deputy to Manafort during his brief tenure as Trump’s campaign chairman.
Trump has denied any allegations of collusion with the Russians and called the probe “a witch hunt.” The Kremlin also has denied the allegations.
U.S. intelligence agencies concluded in January that Russia interfered in the election to try to help Trump defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton by hacking and releasing embarrassing emails and disseminating propaganda via social media to discredit her.
Mueller is also investigating whether Trump campaign officials colluded with the Russian efforts.
WATCH: Trump lashes out on Twitter as Russia probe charges loom
With files from Reuters
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