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Paul Manafort charged with conspiracy against the U.S.

AP Photo / Carolyn Kaster

Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign manager, and his business partner Rick Gates, have been indicted by a federal grand jury as a result of Special Counsel Bob Mueller's Russia probe.

It involves 12 counts, per Peter Carr, a spokesman for the special counsel's office: conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading Foreign Agent Registration Act statements, false statements, and seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts.

Why it matters: This is the first indictment of Mueller's probe, and although it doesn't explicitly link a former Trump campaign associate directly to pro-Trump Russian collusion, it shifted the probe even closer to Trump and those close to him — and it negates Trump's claims that Mueller's work is simply a "witch hunt" with no basis.

Go deeper: Why Paul Manafort registered as a foreign agent, how Mueller's probe closed in on Manafort, and a look back at Manafort's Russia intrigue.

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