Special counsel prepares to indict first Trump co-conspirator in Russia investigation


According to The New York Times, prosecutors have told former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort to prepare for indictment.

Special counsel Robert Mueller has been working diligently for months on the probe into Donald Trump's relationship with Russia.

He has assembled a team of star prosecutors, including some specializing in financial crime. He has convened multiple grand juries and issued a barrage of subpoenas for information from current and former Trump associates. His work has now put Trump's team in such an advanced state of paranoia that they suspect each other of wearing wires.

And Mueller has enough to go further. According to a new report from The New York Times, Mueller told former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort to expect indictment during a forced-entry raid on his house in July:

Paul J. Manafort was in bed early one morning in July when federal agents bearing a search warrant picked the lock on his front door and raided his Virginia home. They took binders stuffed with documents and copied his computer files, looking for evidence that Mr. Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, set up secret offshore bank accounts. They even photographed the expensive suits in his closet.

The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, then followed the house search with a warning: His prosecutors told Mr. Manafort they planned to indict him, said two people close to the investigation.

Manafort was, from the outset, one of the shadiest members of the Trump team. He received a hidden $17 million payment working for a pro-Russia Ukrainian political party, around the same time he successfully rewrote the GOP platform's stance on Crimea. He also was present at the meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer who offered an illegal deal for information on Hillary Clinton.

According to CNN, Manafort's conversations have been wiretapped by federal agents in a secret court order issued before the election. Surveillance of Manafort's conversations extended long after he had officially left the campaign and continued into this year.

And Manafort is only the beginning. Former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn is also in hot water for his undisclosed foreign lobbying work. Several other members of Trump's team — including, White House aides, Ivanka Trump, and Vice President Mike Pence — have lawyered up.

Trump chose, from start to finish, to surround himself with massively compromised people. Now the chickens are coming home to roost.