Paul Manafort Indictment – Where Next? Lisa Osofsky on BBC Radio 4
Lisa Osofsky, Exiger EMEA Regional Chair and EMEA Head of Investigations, explains to BBC Radio 4’s The Today Programme about the wider significance of the federal indictment of Paul Manafort, President Trump's former campaign chairman, and Richard Gates, Manafort's business associate, on money laundering charges and other alleged financial crimes. The indictments follow on from the on-going investigation into alleged Russian interference in the United States presidential election campaign. Commenting on Manafort, Lisa tells the BBC “As campaign manager, he was instrumental in getting Trump’s platform out there and he was there at the time that Trump was nominated. He was a big deal – this is a big fish in the world as it existed for Trump at the time”.
Lisa further explains that the charges against Manafort, comprising among others money laundering, make clear that he is also “charged with violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act that requires him or others who are working for foreign governments, in this case a Ukrainian government that was pro-Russian, at the time, with not telling the authorities what he was doing in our country [the United States]”. The importance of this charge, Lisa explains “is because we in the United States and here in the United Kingdom want to know who is trying to influence us and who’s trying to affect our foreign policy and our public opinion”.
Lisa further explains the significance of the arrest and guilty plea, now in the public domain, made by former Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos that he had lied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) about his contacts with Russia. “We know he was picked up at Dulles airport on July 27. He pled guilty on 3 October, what that means is that there has been a good, fair number of months for him to potentially have worked with the authorities who picked him up because there was a lapse in terms of when he plead and then when that was made public, so we assume that he is co-operating”.
Lisa concludes that these indictments from the Special Counsel are unlikely to be the last. She adds that Robert Mueller, director of the FBI for only six months, will “leave no stone” as part of his wider task to investigate alleged Russian interference in the presidential election.
Listen to the full interview (starts at 1:35:23)