The former chairman of Donald Trump's presidential election campaign, Paul Manafort, has been placed under house arrest after being indicted as part of an investigation into Russian collusion.

Manafort and his associate Rick Gates were indicted on 12 counts of conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading FARA statements, false statements, and seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts.

In total, more than $75m flowed through various offshore accounts with Manafort laundering more than $18m.

Manafort and Gates pled not guilty to the charges and were placed under house arrest on an unsecured bond of $10m (£7.6m) and $5m (£3.8m) respectively, Sky News reported. Special counsel Robert Mueller reportedly argued that Manafort was a flight risk with "significant ties abroad".

Manafort was pictured driving away from his home with his lawyer in the early hours of Monday morning (30 October).

Images shortly after showed him entering the offices of the FBI in Washington DC.

On Friday, it was revealed that a federal grand jury had approved the first indictments in relation to Mueller's special counsel.

Manafort was at Trump Tower and present at the meeting between a Russian attorney linked to the Kremlin and Donald Trump Jr in the summer of 2016.

Over the weekend, President Trump has been deflecting possible charges to his former associates by attacking Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Trump reacted to the charges, re-emphasising his own thoughts that there has been "no collusion."

Over two tweets, the president said: "Sorry, but this is years ago, before Paul Manafort was part of the Trump campaign. But why aren't Crooked Hillary & the Dems the focus?????

"Also, there is NO COLLUSION!"

The good news for Trump is that the charges all relate to dealings that Manafort had before he chaired the billionaire's election campaign.

But Manafort could be leaned on by the special counsel to reveal further details in the weeks and months to come, with more charges expected for other senior officials.

Manafort appeared in court Monday to face US Magistrate Judge Deborah A. Robinson in relation to the various charges. A status hearing has been scheduled for Manafort and Gates for Thursday (2 November).

If convicted, Manafort faces up to 80 years in prison and millions in potential fines.

The first of several expected charges comes amid the ongoing question as to whether Trump would fire Mueller, a former FBI director, from the investigation.

In doing so, he would draw the ire not only of protesters who have already planned rallies across the US should that happen, but of politicians on both sides of the aisle, many of whom, including Republicans, praised the appointment of Mueller earlier in the year.

"Nobody is Above the Law" rallies have been organised in dozens of cities across the US by the group, a progressive political action group, set to begin if and when Mueller is fired.

They have argued that if he is fired, that would mean "a constitutional crisis for our country."

The top Democratic senator, Chuck Schumer issued a warning shot to Trump against any form of interference with the investigation, saying that Mueller's probe should continue "unimpeded."

"The President must not, under any circumstances, interfere with the special counsel's work in any way. If he does so, Congress must respond swiftly, unequivocally, and in a bipartisan way to ensure that the investigation continues," Schumer said in a statement.

Paul Manafort
Paul Manafort, advisor to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's campaign, checks the teleprompters before Trump's speech at the Mayflower Hotel April 27, 2016 in Washington, DC Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images