The investigation into links between the Donald Trump Campaign and the Russian government stepped up this week as Special Prosecutor Bob Mueller ordered the indictment of former campaign strategist Paul Manafort and former foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos, both of whom surrendered to authorities on Monday.
Information so far indicates that Manafort was indicted after evidence emerged of irregular monetary activities in his earlier business life. Papadopoulos, however, is to be questioned further on his conversations with representatives of the Russian government during the 2016 election.
However, in a twist that will deeply concern the sitting President, it has emerged Papadopoulos was actually arrested back in July, and had accepted a plea bargain in early October in exchange for his cooperation with Mueller’s investigation. It seems likely, therefore, that the former advisor has been spying for the special prosecutor, including the possibility that he has been wearing a wire in order to record
conversations, a theory put forward by several analysts familiar with such investigations. This would give Mueller’s investigation cover access to the remaining members of the ‘Trump for President’ campaign. The investigation focuses on the potential involvement of Russia in the US election in 2016, which saw Donald Trump defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton in a shock victory.
Mueller is attempting to establish whether Trump’s campaign actively facilitated such interference, and what, if any, crime this constitutes.
A special prosecutor was appointed following Trump’s firing of FBI director James Comey, who helped carry out a joint FBI, CIA, and NSA prelimary investigation, which concluded that Russian intervention in the election was certain. Given that this report opened up the possibilty of collusion in the interference against Hillary Clinton by members of the Trump campaign, the subsequent sacking of Director Comey led to accusation of Nixonite policies from the President.
Trump reacted angrily to the arrest of his two former advisors, tweeting that there was ‘No collusions!’ and calling on the Justice Department to investigate the Democrats for electoral fraud.