Manafort, Gates plead not guilty to all charges in Mueller indictment

ABC News' political team breaks down the potential consequences of the indictments and George Papadopoulos' guilty plea.
12:43 | 10/30/17

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Transcript for Manafort, Gates plead not guilty to all charges in Mueller indictment
Hey everyone I'm on an advisor continuing coverage now the big story of course we're following three former trump campaign members. Now involved in special counsel Robert Mueller is investigation enter. Possible Russian collusion with the charm campaign during the election to indictment handed up with two names you've heard before the former campaign manager. Palm and afford and the deputy campaign manager Rick gates. But I want to bring in Jon Karl now are chief White House correspondent on what the White House is saying so far. In response to those two indictments and also the first conviction Jon Karl joins us live now. And John I want to ask you about what we've heard from the White House I apologize we lost Jon Karl want to bring in instead Rick Klein ABC's political director Rick. The third name in which we haven't heard much before today George pop the top the list he with a former campaign advisor. He has actually already been convicted he's RD pled guilty why is he significant to this investigation. Of the day om and in my view even though he's a peripheral player. Not is up and bigger name in political circles as madame reporter Rick gates but George pop vocalists a was arrested in July. At which time it appears he started cooperating with authorities and the tale that he is told authorities is quite stunning. It suggests that overall period of months he was trying back in 2016. To set up contacts between Russian operatives and represent as of the trump campaign maybe even connecting flattener Gordon and Donald Trump. Themselves he also says that inside a chain of victory of command at the at the trump campaign he got the go ahead in fact at one point was even told to go ahead and try to set up a trip to Moscow to make it happen at the very least if what his story. It is intended to convey is even close to true we're talking of the very least in a tent and it in intent to collude. With the Russian government and people at the trump campaign. If he's able to bring in other players and people that were above him. Inside the campaign who train you're talking about a much higher level pollution so this to me. Was one of that that one of the biggest revelations we have heard so far in this entire investigation. Actual concrete tangible evidence now in a criminal conviction. That links this campaign's effort to try to get information dirt on Hillary Clinton from the Russian government. And let's go now to Jon Karl our chief White House correspondent John we know now as a result of the documents that were unsealed related to George pop of the top lesson. Plea agreement that there was contact there he was seeking dirt from a Russian officials on Hillary Clinton. Is there a pattern that we're seeing now given that there is a previous story about Donald Trump junior also taking a meeting. Potentially with someone linked to the Kremlin to get dirt on Hillary Clinton is it harder now for the White House to say there was no pollution there was no contact there. Well is certainly pop it up lists it is it in his capacity as an advisor. Apparently unpaid advisor. To the trump campaign. Did have contacts with somebody named in the old legally as a professor. In in these in the indictment and in the in the plea agreement he has with Robert Mueller. Was trying to set up a meeting with the Russians trying to set up a meeting even between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump. A a trip to Moscow. But trip to a tip to London where this meeting would take place the meeting never happened the trip never happened. But there was clearly at least in the in the testimony of mr. pop a topless and effort. To coordinate between Russians who said that they had dirt on Hillary Clinton including pop a topless. Told the special counsel of thousands of emails. And the trump campaign. Now what we get what we ask the White House about this is a statement that pop accomplice was simply. A volunteer at low level volunteer they utterly dismiss this as if to say who was George pop about what's but what we know. Is that he was listed as one of the original. Foreign policy advisors to the president be didn't meet with the president. You you've seen the photo of him sitting just a few seats away from the the president during that meeting to in the spring of 2016. In Washington. So you know this is somebody that had some kind of parole with the campaign and clearly had some kind of contact with the Russians. John we know the president and been tweeting about the investigation for as long as special counsel Mueller has been. Conducting a he's been calling it a witch hunt he's been calling it a hoax but now there are two indictments with two. Former senior members of the campaign and found guilty plea from someone else inside the campaign can they continue to call it a witch hunt or a hoax. I think you will expect to continue to hear him calling in which Hutton hoax the question is whether or not it actually is one in. We have heard from prominent Republicans who were. Allied with the White House and have largely defended the president on on a number of grounds related to the Russian investigation. Who have said that Robert Mueller is a a serious prosecutor and should be given time to do is work most prominently trade Goudie. Who of course led the big Ghazi investigation to Hillary Clinton has said that dowdy should be allowed to continue his work now I asked directly at the briefing today. Mr. Huckabee Sanders if the president would take the firing of Mahler off the table she didn't say that. But she said that so the president has no intention no plans. To fire mother of Lawler although she added that she expected that Mueller would be wrapping up soon and I got to tele on the I see no indication. That Robert Mueller is anywhere near concluding this investigation. Our chief White House correspondent John Karl thanks John good to talk to you let's go over now to Pierre Thomas CBC's. Chief Justice correspondent did care want to ask you about the indictments that have been handed up now we these two days we've heard before. Paul Mann a port and Rick gates to a lesser degree there are twelve counts there among them conspiracy against the US but a lot of people will look at this and say. This has nothing to do with Russia this has nothing to do with the investigation into Russian interference in the election so how is this park at the special counsel's investigation. Well the case they've made here you're correct has nothing to do with the allegation of collusion. But it has everything to do with the kind of pressure that Mueller is now putting on manna for two possibly cooperate. The allegations have to do what whether a metaphor was. Unbeknownst the US government working on behalf of a foreign entity. Getting money getting income from them and not declaring it in violation of tax law and so they're making that case that it millions of dollars. We'll put it would place an offshore accounts. And that that money should have been declared as income. And adequate knew it was quote used to support a lavish lifestyle according to the special counsel's office again. No specific type to collusion in the indictment. But make no mistake this puts a tremendous amount of pressure on Matt afford to possibly cooperate. Karen let me ask you about George pop a topless now what kind of role. He could play maybe he's already been playing in this special counsel investigation he's already pled guilty. So what do we know about how the special counsel could be using hammer access to he had during the campaign. I think the key thing to remember here. Is that this. Suspect who has pled guilty has been cooperating. With federal authorities since July that's three months that means that they had access to the information from him. They had access to his emails they had access to if communications with Russian officials and two in theory White House officials. And trop campaign officials. So everything that anybody who was interviewed. By the FBI. That happened subsequent to him cooperating with the FBI is now under scrutiny. Here Thomas. I want to bring in our colleague Mike Levine also covered the Department of Justice for ABC news was inside the courthouse today. We're both Paul man a four X and rate gates on with their lawyers entered not guilty pleas Mike. Give us a sense of what it was like inside the courtroom there what happened when they walk day. I think first off it's worth noting that just start today there is the massive long line outside of the courtroom. Started about 8 o'clock in morning in this hearing didn't start until 130. Once we finally got a and we sat down in them. He saw Rick gates and on out of fort walking and not very calmly. With their hands behind their backs wearing dark suits and at first it was hard to tell whether whether they were in handcuffs but that we realize that women and they sat down. They were told that the charges were filed against them. There was discussion about how much they were worth and how might how much each Paul man afford aggregates what works personally and how much history. Released on bond ultimately decided by the judge they were. At least on. Ten million dollar bond for palm at a 45 million dollar bond brigades and just one of just as incredible moment I'd like to tell you about that just happened. Inside this court court about our colleague Trish turner ran to receive in the lobby. All by itself. She asked him it strangest day of your life and his response was addressed. And that's an understatement to hit believe that Mike let me ask you this because you've been digging through some of the documents we've had access to today. Some of those indictment he rather dead documents related to George pop adopt a list. That were unsealed given defense of how the Justice Department a special counsel's office is moving. Ford now what comes. From next. One man for it and he. Well I think sort of to let Pierre was talking about the terms of the special counsel's investigation the real news today. With the pop is the torch pop pop list. The plea deal. It's not really what happened inside this courthouse today with on an important updates because public jobless lays out that enough to throw. Robots which he was trying to engage with the Russian government and set up a meeting between. Russian operatives and associates of the trump campaign and there is even one email from may of last year. In which pop adopt list gets an email from obviously. An associate of the Russian Foreign Ministry who wished those. Russian foreign minister ministry official says that he's looking forward to quote co operating with the trump campaign. That's about just really goes to what's going on now with special counsel still heading and they're all sorts of associates related to the trump campaign. That with pop accomplices help that the special counsel's going to be looking even further into. And Mike I'm glad you read that email because everyone's going through these documents now trying to build the timeline and cross check things. That we know were said earlier in the campaign and won a plea for you one quick piece of sound. See you mentioned that email within may in July had 2016 on eighty feet this week. An interview with George Stephanopoulos. Paul amanpour was asked directly about any cost cooperation or contact between the time campaign. And Russian officials take a listen to what he had to say back then this July of when he sixteen. Are there any ties between mr. trump you or your campaign and food and his regime. Though there are about that's absurd. In there's no place to it. And then happen like this was the line we were getting for a very long time from all members of the campaign there was no contact there were no ties there but we now know. This was his in after pop adopt a list was exchanging emails potentially setting up meetings. And trying to travel to Russia to meet with officials. That's right and I think one thing to really remember about the guilty plea today. Is that this is pop a topless himself admitting to what happens is allegations at this point. It's not the justice department of special counsel saying here's what we believe happened just pop a topless yes I admitted this is what happened. The night before I like to go get a sense of the timing now moving forward obviously no coincidence. That we had both indictments against man a fourteen gates handed off today and then also. He and feeling of this one guilty pleas so far this misrepresent an acceleration. In the special counsel's investigation or that they anything talked about the timing. Honestly when it comes to investigations like this that's it could be it could be well into next year before we hear. About the next steps next concrete steps of the special counsel. I'll expect to have this conversation with you again at some point then Mike Levine live there outside the courthouse for at thanks so much my. Thanks to all of you for watching as well remember you can head covered ABC news stock on any time to get the latest on this story just download ABC news that it all the breaking news. Write to your phone thanks for watching for now I'm on an Abbas. And the feedback your sin.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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