Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s one-time campaign chairman, surrendered to the FBI Monday morning after the first charges in the special investigation into the 2016 election were filed.
The New York Times reports that while the charges against Manafort aren’t clear yet, the fact that he has been charged and is surrendering indicate a “significant escalation” in this investigation, which was spearheaded by James Comey and has since been taken over by Robert Mueller after Trump fired Comey what feels like a century ago, in May.
Manafort’s associate, Rick Gates, was also asked to surrender Monday. Both men were indicted Friday by a grand jury; if you’d like to pour yourself a java and settle down with the full indictment, you can do read that here. The charges include “conspiracy to launder money, unregistered agent of a former principal, and conspiracy against the United States,” all of which sound like pretty bad news. The entire list of counts is below.
Manafort has been aware that he’d get what was coming to him since July, when federal authorities raided his home and seized documents and other materials relevant to their investigation on the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with Russian officials. In September, news surfaced that Manafort had offered to “provide briefings” about the campaign to a Russian billionaire with deep ties to the Kremlin; Manafort was certainly up to his nose in shit by then, but now, his reckoning is here. Who’s next?