Christmas came a little bit early this year because Paul Manafort has turned himself in to the FBI. The former campaign manager for Donald Trump was indicted alongside his longtime associate Rick Gates in Robert S. Mueller III's ongoing investigation into the president's connection with Russia.
The two were indicted on charges of money laundering, foreign lobbying charges, and "conspiracy against the United States," with Manafort having laundered more than $18 million to buy properties and services, according to the New York Times. "Manafort used his hidden overseas wealth to enjoy a lavish lifestyle in the United States without paying taxes on that income," the indictment reads.
The charges should come as no surprise for the businessman. In the summer, the FBI raided his house with guns drawn and collected evidence before casually letting him know he'd probably be indicted. We've come a long way from March 2016, when Manafort joined the Trump campaign. Though, of course, he only lasted a few months because then news broke that he'd received more than $12 million in undisclosed payments from Viktor F. Yanukovych, the former Ukrainian president and a pro-Russia politician.
Strap in because with this indictment, Mueller's special investigation is entering a new phase and our political establishment is looking more and more like a Hollywood political thriller.