By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Monday, it was announced that former Trump 2016 Campaign Manager Paul Manafort and his partner, Rick Gates, had both been indicted by charges brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Mueller also announced that former Trump Campaign Foreign Policy Adviser George Papadopoulos had accepted a guilty plea.
U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Selma, said that all three men should have to testify before the House Intelligence Committee, of which she is a member.
“The indictments issued today for Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, as well as news of George Papadopoulos’s guilty plea, have serious consequences for the ongoing investigations being conducted by the Special Counsel and by Congress. As these charges open up new lines of inquiry, Congress must hear directly from Manafort, Gates, and Papadopoulos to ensure we have all the information. On the Intelligence Committee, we have a responsibility to follow the facts wherever they lead,” Sewell said on social media.
In the indictment, “Defendants PAUL J. MANAFORT, JR., (MANAFORT) and RICHARD W. GATES III (GATES) served for years as political consultants and lobbyists. Between at least 2006 and 2015, MANAFORT and GATES acted as unregistered agents of the Government of Ukraine, the Party of Regions (a Ukrainian political party whose leader Victor Yanukovych was President from 2010 to 2014), Yanukovych, and the Opposition Bloc (a successor to the Patty o fRegions that fo1med in 2014 when Yanukovych fled to Russia). MANAFORT and GATES generated tens of millions of dollars in income as a result of their Ukraine work. In order to hide Ukraine payments from United States authorities, from approximately 2006 through at least 2016, MANAFORT and GATES laundered the money through scores of United States and foreign corporations, partnerships, and bank accounts.”
All of this occurred before Manafort and Gates went to work for Donald Trump and his bid to be elected president of the United States.
To read the full 12 count indictments against Manafort and Gates:
Former Trump Foreign Policy Adviser George Papadopoulos admitted to making a false statement to FBI investigators who asked about his contacts with foreigners claiming to have high-level Russian connections.
Papadopoulos admits that he tried to broker connections with Russian officials and arrange a meeting between them and the Trump campaign. Papadopoulos admits to lying when he told the FBI that his interactions with an overseas professor, who he understood to have substantial connections to Russian government officials, occurred before he was a member of the campaign. The professor told him that the Russians possessed “dirt” on then-candidate Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails.” Papadopoulus told the FBI repeatedly that he learned that information prior to joining the campaign.
In truth and in fact, however, he learned he would be an adviser to the campaign in early March, and he met the professor on or about March 14, 2016. He represented himself to the professor as a member of the Trump campaign. The professor told Papadopoulos about the “thousands of emails” on or about April 26, 2016, after he had been a foreign policy adviser to the campaign for over a month. Papadopoulos admits that he originally told the investigating agents that the professor was “a nothing” and “just a guy talk[ing] up connections or something.” However, Papadopoulos understood that the professor had substantial connections to Russian government officials – and had met with some of those officials in Moscow immediately prior to telling Papadopoulos about the “thousands of emails.” Papadopoulos repeatedly sought to use the professor’s Russian connections in an effort to arrange a meeting between the campaign and Russian government officials.
Papadopoulos originally told the FBI that he met a certain female Russian national before he joined the campaign and that their communications consisted of emails such as,'”Hi,howareyou?” In reality, Papadopoulos met with the female Russian national on or about March 24, 2016, after he had become an adviser to the campaign; he believed that she had connections to Russian government officials; and he sought to use her Russian connections over a period of months in an effort to arrange a meeting between the Trump campaign and Russian government officials.
The FBI says that Papadopoulos hindered their investigation by lying and misleading them.
Sewell serves on the House Intelligence Committee, which is conducting its own parallel investigation to what the special counsel is doing.
Mueller is a former FBI director. He was appointed by, and answers only to, acting Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein because U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation after it was revealed that he had met with the Russian ambassador twice during the Trump campaign. The decision to recuse himself from the investigation angered Trump, who was not told in advance of the decision.
Interestingly, Manafort was in attendance at a meeting with a Russian female national, Donald Trump Jr. and the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. There are media reports that the president may want to fire Mueller. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has publicly warned the president that there will be repercussions if the president followed that course of action or if he fired Sessions.
Sessions will meet with Trump and Vice President Mike Pence for lunch on Wednesday.
Sewell represents Alabama’s 7th Congressional District.
Original reporting by Fox News and the Wasington Post’s Matt Zapotosky, Rosalind S. Helderman, Carol D. Leonnig and Spencer S. Hsu contributed to this report.