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Who’s been charged by Mueller in the Russia probe so far?



Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s inquiry into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election is ongoing – and secret.

So far, four former Trump campaign associates – Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Richard Gates and George Papadopoulos – have been charged, though none of the charges are directly related to any misconduct by the president’s campaign.

The special counsel filed new tax evasion and bank fraud charges against Manafort and Gates in late February, potentially increasing the amount of prison time the pair could face if convicted at trial. The charges are similar to those filed in October.

Here’s a breakdown of the charges, and a closer look at those who have faced charges throughout Mueller’s so far nearly year-long probe.

Michael Flynn

Michael Flynn, who served as Trump’s national security adviser for less than a month before resigning, was charged and pleaded guilty in December 2017 to making false statements to the FBI. 

Flynn reportedly lied about his talks with Russia’s ambassador to Washington. In late 2016, while former President Barack Obama was still in office, the two allegedly spoke about the U.S. sanctions imposed on Russia.

This raised concerns that Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general, misled Trump officials about his conversations with Russian officials.

Paul Manafort

FILE - In this July 17, 2016 file photo, then-Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort talks to reporters on the floor of the Republican National Convention at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland as Rick Gates listens at back left. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley is considering issuing subpoenas to Manfort and two FBI officials close to fired director James Comey as part of the panel's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 elections.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Paul Manafort turned himself in to authorities in October.

 (The Associated Press)

The special counsel filed a 32-count indictment on Feb. 22 against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and aide Rick Gates, accusing the pair of tax evasion and bank fraud. 

The new indictment accuses Manafort and Gates of doctoring documents to inflate the income of their businesses and then using those fraudulent documents to obtain loans. It also accuses Manafort of evading taxes from 2010 through 2014 and, in some of the years, concealing his foreign bank accounts.

And on Feb. 23, a newly unsealed indictment accused Manafort of secretly paying former European politicians to lobby on behalf of Ukraine.

Manafort turned himself in to federal authorities in the fall. The 68-year-old served as Trump’s campaign manager for a few months in 2016. Gates, Manafort’s business associate, also turned himself in at the time. 

Manafort was initially charged in a 12-count indictment in connection with foreign lobbying work, and he pleaded not guilty. The charges included: conspiracy against the U.S., conspiracy to launder money, false statements, unregistered agent of a foreign principal, and multiple counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts, according to a special counsel’s office spokesman.

Manafort sued to have the case against him dismissed and argued that Mueller had overstepped his bounds by charging him for conduct he says is unrelated to Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Richard Gates

FILE - In this July 21, 2016 file photo, Rick Gates, campaign aide to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.  Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and a former business associate, Rick Gates, have been told to surrender to federal authorities Monday, according to reports and a person familiar with the matter.(AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Richard Gates pleaded not guilty to all charges.

 (The Associated Press)

Rick Gates was named alongside Manafort in the recent charges brought by the special counsel. He’s accused of 11 counts related to filing false income tax returns and three counts of failure to report foreign bank and financial accounts.

Gates pleaded guilty on Feb. 23 to federal conspiracy and false-statements charges.

In wake of the guilty plea, Mueller moved to drop the 22 bank and tax fraud charges against him. The decision to drop the more expansive charges against Gates could suggest that the former Trump campaign official is cooperating and providing good information to Mueller’s team.

Like Manafort, Gates was initially indicted in October in connection with foreign lobbying work; he pleaded not guilty at the time. His charges were similar to Manafort’s – ranging from conspiracy against the U.S. to conspiracy to launder money.

A superseding criminal complaint says Gates was charged with conspiracy against the United States between 2006 and 2017.

George Papadopoulos

george papadopoulos

George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to the charges against him.

 (Alexandria Sheriff’s Office)

A former foreign policy adviser to Trump’s presidential campaign, George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty in 2017 to making false statements to the FBI regarding “the timing, extent and nature of his relationships and interactions with certain foreign nationals whom he understood to have close connections with senior Russian government officials,” according to court documents.

He also reportedly tried to set up meetings between Russian and Trump campaign officials on various occasions. 

Alex van der Zwaan

Alex van der Zwaan arrives at a plea agreement hearing at the D.C. federal courthouse in Washington, U.S., February 20, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas - RC129AC156E0

Attorney Alex van der Zwaan pleaded guilty to lying to investigators about his interactions with Gates.

 (Reuters/Yuri Gripas)

Mueller’s team charged Alex van der Zwaan, an attorney who allegedly lied to federal investigators in the Russia probe, in federal court on Feb. 16. He pleaded guilty days later. 

According to charging documents, van der Zwaan was employed by a law firm hired by the Ukraine Ministry of Justice in 2012. He admitted to lying about his interactions with Gates.

The charge against van der Zwaan does not involve election meddling or the Trump campaign’s operations. It stems from the special counsel’s investigation into a covert Washington lobbying campaign Manafort and Gates are accused of directing on behalf of pro-Russian Ukrainian interests.

The law firm where he used to work says it fired him last year and has been cooperating with authorities.

Richard Pinedo

Richard Pinedo, a California man who sold bank accounts to Russians meddling in the election, pleaded guilty to using stolen identities to set up the bank accounts earlier this month.

The U.S. government said Pinedo did not know that he was dealing with Russians when he sold the accounts. The plea was announced on the same day that Mueller’s office charged 13 Russians and the indictment was the most direct allegation to date of illegal Russian meddling during the campaign.

Pinedo ran the online service Auction Essistance, buying and selling bank account numbers so customers could avoid security measures of digital payment companies, Newsweek reported. The Auction Essistance website says it is “currently undergoing scheduled maintenance.”

13 Russian nationals

A grand jury indicted 13 Russian nationals and three Russian companies in February for allegedly interfering in the 2016 election. In the case, Mueller details a sophisticated plot to wage “information warfare” on the U.S.

The indictment is the first to be brought against Russian nationals in Mueller’s investigation. 

However, the Justice Department said the indictment does not allege that the interference changed the outcome of the election.

“There is no allegation in this indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity,” said Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversees the special counsel probe.

Fox News’ Samuel Chamberlain and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Madeline Farber is a Reporter for Fox News. You can follow her on Twitter @MaddieFarberUDK.

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Pennsylvania GOP lawmakers fostered false election allegations that fueled Capitol riot



Conspiracy theories about the counting of ballots in Pennsylvania appear to have made it the unfortunate ground zero of much of the discord the country has seen since President Donald Trump lost the November election.

Rioters who supported Trump cited false allegations about election fraud in Pennsylvania — shared by some of the state’s own Republican lawmakers, including Congressman Scott Perry and state Sen. Doug Mastriano — as a reason to “storm the Capitolon Jan. 6.

Now statehouses across the country, including the one in Pennsylvania, are bracing for additional confrontations in the coming days.

The state where the country’s democracy was founded, Pennsylvania saw members of Congress object to its electors even as broken glass still littered the floor of the Capitol hours after the riot ended, perpetuating doubts among Trump supporters about the integrity of the state’s election.

Pennsylvania law enforcement agencies said this past week that they are gearing up for potential violence in the state ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration in Washington, D.C., and Gov. Tom Wolf has assigned 450 members of the state’s National Guard to protect the Pennsylvania Capitol.

“I will not allow what happened at our nation’s capital to happen here,” said Wolf, who also assigned approximately 2,000 members of the state National Guard to protect Washington.

Jack Thomas Tomarchio, who served as the principal deputy under secretary for intelligence under the Bush administration and helped set up domestic intelligence gathering networks nationwide, said Pennsylvania — where he lives — is particularly under threat because of the number of militia groups in the state and its central role in the election fraud conspiracy theories.

Tomarchio, who called claims that Pennsylvania Democrats had stolen the election “utter hogwash,” said the state faces manpower issues in protecting state and federal buildings across from being targeted by domestic extremists.

“Pennsylvania is definitely a high-profile target because it’s one of the states these groups were contesting,” he said. “At the same time, Pennsylvania has the dubious distinction of having about 28 militia groups, especially in the northern tier of the state. These places harbor a lot of right-wing extremist groups, and so that’s another reason why the state has to be really careful.”

The Republican-controlled legislature has done little to lower the temperature, however.

A day prior to the riot in the Capitol, Pennsylvania Republicans refused to seat state Sen. Jim Brewster, a Democrat who won a tight race in the western part of the state by 69 votes. They also removed Lieutenant Gov. John Fetterman, a Democrat, as presiding officer of the Senate because he attempted to seat Brewster.

Brewster has since been seated after a federal judge sided with Democrats, but some state Republicans are now attempting to amend Pennsylvania’s constitution and change how state Supreme Court judges are elected after lawsuits to overturn the election and challenge pandemic safety measures were denied by the state court.

Lt. Gov. John Fetterman delivers an introduction for Gov. Tom Wolf during an inaugural ceremony on Jan. 15, 2019, in Harrisburg, Pa.Mark Makela / Getty Images file

“What Republicans are planning to do with the Supreme Court is reprehensible,” said Fetterman, who Republicans voted to remove as president of the Senate last week in what state Democrats called “an attempted coup.”

“My dudes had no problem with the Supreme Court from 2002 to 2015, when it was in conservative control,” he said. “But then the Democrats hustled, we took control of the Supreme Court and now they hate that Supreme Court. They literally are going to change the constitution to try to eliminate and gerrymander the court.”

Currently, members of the state’s Supreme Court are elected to their seats in statewide elections for 10 year terms. Republicans want to confine those elections to districts that would be drawn by the state legislature.

The attempted change to the state constitution could make its way before Pennsylvania voters if passed, but Wolf, a Democrat, warned the effort was an attempt at control by “hyper-partisan” Republicans.

“I strongly oppose giving the legislature the power to gerrymander our justice system,” the governor said. “This constitutional amendment is just another effort by Harrisburg Republicans to prevent the will of the people from being heard by stopping all Pennsylvanians from having a voice in selecting judges for the highest courts in the state.”

Those efforts by Republican state lawmakers now have a months-long history: The GOP-controlled legislature refused to allow state workers to count ballots early during the election and members of the party shared election fraud falsehoods before and after the election — oftentimes parroting President Donald Trump and his lawyers.

Mastriano and Perry, both Republicans, are two Pennsylvania lawmakers who pushed election fraud conspiracy theories in their state at two levels of government.

Both are military veterans: Mastriano served as a colonel in the Army and taught at the Army War College, and Perry served as a brigadier general in the Pennsylvania National Guard. They have received numerous calls to resign for using their positions to bring the election fraud allegations to the mainstream.

Scott Perry speaks to supporters of President Donald Trump at a protest in front of the Pennsylvania Commonwealth capitol building in Harrisburg, Pa., on Nov. 5, 2020.Mark Kauzlarich / Reuters file

Perry objected to Pennsylvania’s electors after the riot occurred, along with seven other Republican members of the state’s congressional delegation. Mastriano met with Trump regarding Pennsylvania’s election at the White House and held a hearing for the president’s lawyers in Gettysburg to attempt to further legitimize the unsupported allegations.

Mastriano attended the protest in Washington last week, though he said he and his wife left before it turned into a riot at the Capitol.

Fetterman and other Democrats lay much of the responsibility for the perpetuation of the election falsehoods in Pennsylvania at the feet of Perry, Mastriano and state Republicans.

“It’s stunning,” said Fetterman, who expressed concern for his family’s safety. “Last Tuesday there were literally 200 crazy Trump protesters under my office balcony on the front steps of the state Capitol, and then we had the big conflagration in the Senate when they voted to eject me. There was no difference between Harrisburg and D.C. because it easily could’ve gone the same way in Harrisburg, and they could’ve stormed the state Capitol.”

“What I’m trying to say is, they stoked it, stoked and stoked it, and then Wednesday happened,” Fetterman added.

Neither Mastriano nor Perry responded to requests for comment about their active participation in spreading the election fraud falsehoods, their roles in undermining voters in Pennsylvania or the calls for their resignation. Both have released statements condemning the violence.

Perry also released a one-word statement in response to the demands that he leave office.

“No,” he wrote.

Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano, R-Franklin, attends a hearing of the Pennsylvania State Senate Majority Policy Committee, in Gettysburg, Pa. on Nov. 25, 2020.Julio Cortez / AP file

Mastriano, meanwhile, has since requested on social media that his supporters “not participate in rallies or protests over the next ten days. Let’s focus on praying for our nation during these troubling times.” The statement represents a sudden about-face in the rhetoric he previously used, such as when he told a conservative radio show host that Trump supporters are in “a death match with the Democrat party” over the election results, according to Media Matters for America.

Mastriano, who became a right-wing celebrity and saw his social media following blossom from a few thousand people to hundreds of thousands over his opposition to the state’s pandemic precautions and perpetuation of the president’s election falsehoods, also used campaign funds to rent buses for his supporters to travel from Chambersburg to Washington for the protest last week, according to NPR affiliate WHYY.

He charged $25 for an adult and $10 for a child to travel on the bus, the Facebook event shared by Doug Mastriano Fighting for Freedom said.

But the state senator — who was appointed by Republican Senate leadership to chair the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee this week — said on NewsMax that the Capitol riot was caused by only a few agitators and insinuated they were not Trump supporters.

“We were there peacefully,” he said, “99.9 percent of us, and they should not be blamed for anything.”

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SNP humiliated: Rees-Mogg dismantles Sturgeon's demands for billions in 'Brexit damages'



JACOB REES-MOGG brilliantly picked apart Nicola Sturgeon’s demand for Brexit compensation, pointing out that the UK taxpayer already foots a £8.6bn bill for Scotland.

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Nicola Sturgeon told to step down as SNP ordered to ditch 'ridiculous' plot to rejoin EU



A NIGEL Farage-backed Unionist has blasted Nicola Sturgeon’s ambitions of rejoining the EU.

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