Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s full-court press on anyone and everyone involved with the Trump campaign has finally begun – and the first target in his sights is, of course, former Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort, by far the easiest mark. According to Reuters,Mueller and his team are trying to recruit Manafort as a cooperating witness in the Russia investigation in exchange for immunity for possible money laundering charges.
The focus on Manafort isn't a surprise. Not only did Manafort attend the now-infamous June 2016 Russia meeting organized by Donald Trump Jr., but investigators have already been scrutinizing his ties to deposed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, along with several shady real-estate deals.
“U.S. investigators examining money laundering accusations against President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort hope to push him to cooperate with their probe into possible collusion between Trump's campaign and Russia, two sources with direct knowledge of the investigation said.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team is examining Manafort's financial and real estate records in New York as well as his involvement in Ukrainian politics, the officials said.”
Specifically, Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team is investigating several New York City real estate deals involving Manafort for evidence that the properties might have been paid for with money funneled to Manafort by former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. The former Ukrainian leader hired Manafort’s firm to do political consulting work. Last summer, ledgers found by Ukrainian investigators surfaced purporting to show millions of dollars in undisclosed payments to Manafort’s firm, though they haven’t been proved genuine.