All eyes have been on Donald Trump since his election into office and many a voice has been critical of the populist President.
Yet this weekend marks the first time a real prospect of criminal investigation and conviction has been in the conversation for The Orange One.
This is because US special counsel, Robert Mueller, has officially indicted two men who are connected to Trump’s campaign and administration.
This revelation is so massive and potentially so damaging for American politics. the transcript of the official charges have just crashed The New York Times website.
The document, which has been uploaded here, was being accessed by so many people it wouldn’t even load.
Paul Manafort, who’s been credited with getting Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign off the ground, has been indicted on 12 counts, including conspiracy and money laundering among other charges.
A total of $18 million was laundered through various offshore accounts and used to purchase property in the United States, which was then levied as collateral in loans.
Mr Manafort was the president’s former campaign chairman along with his longtime associate and protege, Rick Gates, who’s also been charged with similar crimes.
The indictment reads:
Manafort used his hidden overseas wealth to enjoy a lavish lifestyle in the United States, without paying taxes on that income.
Manafort, without reporting the income to his tax preparer or the United States, spent millions of dollars on luxury goods and services for himself and his extended family through payments wired from offshore nominee accounts to United States vendors.
Manafort also used these offshore accounts to purchase multi-million dollar properties as collateral, thereby obtaining cash in the United States without reporting and paying taxes on the income.
In order to increase the amount of money he could access in the United States, Manafort defrauded the institutions that loaned money on these properties so that they would lend him more money at more favourable rates than he would otherwise be able to obtain.
Gates apparently aided Manafort in these efforts and was even instrumental in getting the offshore bank accounts opened.
Mr Trump’s lawyer, Ty Cobb, said there were no concerns Mr Manafort would offer any damaging information about the president in exchange for a deal to avoid prosecution.
Mr Manafort was indeed Trump’s campaign chairman and chief strategist, but he was fired not long after, when it was revealed he received millions of dollars from Viktor F Yanukovych, a former Ukrainian president who is pro-Russian.
While this doesn’t directly implicate Trump or people in his campaign with colluding with Russia during the election, it’s massive news how the investigation is indeed moving forward with their probes into the financial ties between Trump’s inner camp and Russia.