Just Another Manafort Monday

In the spirit of giving both sides of the story, let’s go contrarian on this Manafort Monday and lead with President Trump’s reaction to the first indictments connected to the Mueller investigation: “Sorry, but this is years ago, before Paul Manafort was part of the Trump campaign. But why aren’t Crooked Hillary & the Dems the focus????? … Also, there is NO COLLUSION!” And from Sarah Huckabee Sanders: “We’ve been saying from day one there’s no evidence of Trump-Russia collusion, and nothing in the indictment changes that at all.” Those reactions came following the news that three former Trump campaign officials have been charged by the special counsel. Paul Manafort and his longtime partner Rick Gates have plead not guilty to conspiracy and money laundering charges that could result in millions in fines and decades in prison. Meanwhile we learned that George Papadopoulos, an ex-advisor to the campaign, secretly plead “guilty three weeks ago to lying to federal agents about his contacts with Kremlin-connected Russians.”

+ A summary from WaPo: “The one-two punch delivered Monday by special prosecutor Robert S. Mueller III — an indictment of President Trump’s former campaign chairman and a guilty plea from a former campaign adviser — is designed to send a powerful message to everyone else caught up in the probe: the prosecutors aren’t bluffing.”

+ Some analysis from the Lawfare blog. “Any hope the White House may have had that the Mueller investigation might be fading away vanished this morning. Things are only going to get worse from here.”

+ Here are the latest updates from CNN.

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