The Breakdown - 'Mueller Monday'

Charges were filed by the team, led by former FBI director Robert Mueller, investigating Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election, but it's important to keep track of what is and is not true regarding these charges. 

Paul Manafort ran President Donald Trump's campaign for three months until reports developed that he had taken a lot of money illegally from a pro-Russian group in Ukraine, at which time, Trump removed him from the campaign team.

Rick Gates was Manafort's right hand man. The two of them were charged with more or less what those reports suggested, specifically, taking tens of millions of dollars from a Ukrainian political group, secretly funneling it through foreign accounts to avoid paying income tax, acting as representatives for Ukrainian interests in the U.S. without authorization, and basically hiding all of this from the federal government for the better part of a decade.

Although these charges are from the team investigating whether the Russian government hacked into the U.S. elections, it's worth noting that neither President Trump nor his campaign are mentioned in the charges.

These crimes happened before Donald Trump's candidacy for President and just happened to get uncovered by the team investigating the election issue. The only suggestion of a link is that the Ukrainian groups were pro-Russia, but some are questioning why Robert Mueller's team is focusing on these charges right now.

President Trump pointed this out on Twitter and said the Democrats are the ones who should be investigated, but this is where Papadopoulos comes in. He once served as an aide to Trump. Almost three weeks ago, Papadopoulos admitted to lying to the FBI when they asked him about his connections with Russia.

The White House says Papadopoulos was just a volunteer, but court documents suggest a top campaign official encouraged Papadopoulos to make contacts with Russian officials. The public just learned this today, which makes him the subject of conversation.

If you feel like this all leaves you with more questions than answers, you're right. Be weary of anyone claiming this indictment is definitive proof of anything just yet. 

There's still quite a lengthy legal process ahead and only so much information that has been shared with the public.

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