The claim: Six members of 2016 Trump campaign were convicted of or charged with felonies.
With Democratic and Republican conventions wrapped up, candidates and their campaigns are ramping up efforts to secure a win in November. And social media is playing an even bigger role this year because typical campaign activities sidelined by the coronavirus pandemic.
On the Facebook page Ridin' with Biden — which supports Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden — one viral post said, "Steve Bannon's arrest means that six senior members of Trump's 2016 campaign are now either confirmed or suspected felons."
Who are the people in the claim?
The Facebook post lists the names, positions and charges against six former senior members of Trump's campaign.
Steve Bannon: Bannon was Trump's former chief strategist. The post claims he has been arrested and charged, which is accurate. Bannon was recently arrested and charged with fraud, which is a felony. The indictment accused Bannon and the others of "defrauding hundreds of thousands of donors" in the "We Build the Wall" crowdfunding campaign to finance one of Trump's signature programs.
Paul Manafort: The post claims Manafort was found guilty on eight felony counts, which is accurate. A former chairman of the Trump campaign, he is serving a combined sentence of 7½ years in prison from two criminal cases that resulted from the special counsel investigation on Russia's election meddling in 2016. He was released in May to home confinement. Manafort was convicted in Virginia for a scheme to defraud banks and taxpayers out of millions of dollars he had amassed through illicit lobbying. He also pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges of not disclosing his lobbying work and tampering with witnesses in a related Washington, D.C., case.
Rick Gates: Gates is a former aide to the Trump campaign. The post claims he "pleaded guilty," which is accurate. In February 2018 he pleaded guilty to lying to prosecutors and FBI agents — both of which are felonies — and was sentenced to 45 days in jail in 2019.
Michael Flynn: Flynn is Trump's former national security adviser. The post claims he "pleaded guilty," which is correct. In 2017, Flynn pleaded guilty to one felon count of lying to investigators about meetings with Russians in the White House. He later reversed course, claiming investigators entrapped him into making false statements. The Justice Department also reversed course and sought to dismiss the case, arguing that the interview during which Flynn made false statements was "unjustified." In June, a federal appeals court ordered the case to be dismissed. But just Monday, in an 8-2 ruling, a full panel of the federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., ruled the case should not be immediately dismissed.
Roger Stone: Stone is a former adviser to the Trump campaign and the post claims he was "found guilty," which is accurate. Stone was convicted in federal court of seven felonies for lying to Congress and obstructing the investigation into Russian election meddling. Last month, Trump commuted the sentence of his longtime confidant, just days before Stone was set to report to prison.
Michael Cohen: Cohen is Trump's former personal lawyer and the post claims he "pleaded guilty," which is accurate. In August 2018, Cohen pleaded guilty to felony charges related to making payments to women who claimed to have sex with Trump. Cohen also pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about a real estate deal in Moscow in November of 2018. In December, he was sentenced to three years in prison.
Our rating: True
The claims in the post have been rated TRUE. The post accurately identifies six former Trump associates as well as their felony charges, convictions or pleas.
Our fact check sources:
USA TODAY, Aug. 21, 2018, Paul Manafort trial: Jury finds former Trump campaign manager guilty on 8 counts in tax fraud case
NBC News, Aug. 2018, Manafort convicted on 8 counts; mistrial declared on 10 other charges
USA Today, Aug. 2018, Michael Cohen said he paid hush money at 'direction' of Trump
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Contributing: Kevin Johnson, Kristine Phillips
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: 6 members of 2016 Trump campaign have faced felony charges