Paul Manafort

Manafort Wire Transfers Draw Scrutiny

Bloomberg: “The federal indictment of Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, accuses him of laundering millions in foreign payments to pursue a ‘lavish lifestyle’ in the U.S., especially in the Hamptons, where he has a house. What it doesn’t explain — or highlight — are the stratospheric payments he made to home improvement companies when his renovation work was estimated at far less.

“Special Counsel Robert Mueller, in his indictment, says that a Hamptons firm got $5.4 million in wire transfers from Cyprus over 71 payments. But building permits over the same period examined by Bloomberg show that renovations by Manafort’s Hamptons’ contractor were estimated to cost $1.2 million. That’s less than a quarter of what was ultimately sent — an apparent discrepancy that could draw scrutiny from investigators.”

Prosecutors Seek Plea Deal with Ex-Manafort Son-in-Law

“The Justice Department is seeking to reach a plea deal in its criminal investigation of the former son-in-law of Paul Manafort, President Trump’s one-time campaign chairman,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“The investigation into Jeffrey Yohai—who hasn’t been charged with any crime—by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles is separate from the Washington-based probe of his former father-in-law and others by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.”

Manafort, Gates Remain Under House Arrest for Now

A federal judge “ordered former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his associate Rick Gates to remain under house arrest with their movements tracked by GPS devices – until they offer up more bail money to assure their future appearances in court,” USA Today reports.

The judge said she was “inclined” to eventually “let both Manafort and Gates out of home confinement, and was even open to allowing them to travel within the United States so they could continue their consulting work, but not overseas.”

Manafort Proposes $12.5 Million Bail Package

“Paul Manafort is offering to post $12.5 million-worth of assets — including his Trump Tower apartment — as part of a bail package to ensure that he appears for the trial he’s facing on charges of money laundering and failing to register as a foreign lobbyist,” Politico reports.

“In exchange for pledging the properties, Manafort is seeking to be released from home confinement at his Alexandria, Va. condo and permitted to travel freely in Florida, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and New York.”

Why Manafort Won’t Talk

Martin London: “The operative element of the prosecutor’s strategy is the defendant’s fear. But do Manafort and others close to the Administration really have anything to fear from Mueller? No, they do not, because the President is not going to sit by and let either himself or his children go to jail. Period. This is not the normal ballgame.”

“I project this scenario: Manafort, having already pled ‘not guilty,’ clams up. He has no incentive to speak because he has no fear. Months (or years) from now, just before trial, Trump issues some tweets to the effect of This is all an attack by Hillary Clinton supporters!, and he pardons Manafort and anybody else who has been indicted by Mueller. If Mueller then brings Manafort before the Grand Jury and demands he answer questions because he no longer has any legitimate fear of federal prosecution because of his pardon, Manafort will take the Fifth because he is still subject to criminal liability in New York State, where much of the money laundering occurred. Manafort’s assertion of the privilege will be upheld because Trump’s pardon affected only federal charges.”

Reaction from Inside the White House

Jonathan Swan: “Nobody was surprised to learn that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is the first to be publicly indicted, along with his business partner Rick Gates, for alleged money laundering, failing to disclose foreign lobbying, and tax violations.”

“One of those sources told me ‘people are relieved it’s Manafort and not Flynn’ who was indicted.”

“I’ve had dozens of conversations about this subject with administration officials over the past months, and while nobody I’ve spoken to genuinely thinks collusion with Russia happened on the campaign, plenty worry about what Bob Mueller’s crack team of financial investigators will turn up on Trump and his allies.”

Manafort and Business Partner Told to Surrender

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his former business partner Rick Gates “will turn themselves in on charges stemming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia to influence the 2016 election,” the Washington Post reports.

New York Times: “The charges against Mr. Manafort and Mr. Gates were not immediately clear but represent a significant escalation in a special counsel investigation that has cast a shadow over the president’s first year in office.”

CNN reports Manafort will turn himself in.

Axios: “The FBI rarely charges just one person, and this is likely just the beginning.”

FBI Looking at Suspicious Manafort Wire Transfers

“The FBI’s investigation of Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, includes a keen focus on a series of suspicious wire transfers in which offshore companies linked to Manafort moved more than $3 million all over the globe between 2012 and 2013,” BuzzFeed News reports.

“These transactions — which have not been previously reported — drew the attention of federal law enforcement officials as far back as 2012, when they began to examine wire transfers to determine if Manafort hid money from tax authorities or helped the Ukrainian regime close to Russian President Vladimir Putin launder some of the millions it plundered through corrupt dealings.”

Manafort Had $60M Relationship with Russian Oligarch

“Paul Manafort, the former campaign manager for President Donald Trump, has much stronger financial ties to a Russian oligarch than have been previously reported,” NBC News reports.

“An NBC News investigation reveals that $26 million changed hands in the form of loan between a company linked to Manafort and the oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, a Russian billionaire with close ties to the Kremlin. The loan brings the total of their known business dealings to around $60 million over the past decade, according to financial documents filed in Cyprus and the Cayman Islands.”

Manafort Used Trump to Curry Favor With Putin Ally

The Atlantic has obtained the full email exchanges between Paul Manafort and a former associate in Russia which show Manafort — at a time when he was deeply in debt and not earning a salary — attempting to use his role as Trump’s campaign manager to gain favor with Oleg Vladimirovich Deripaska, a Russian oligarch close to Vladimir Putin.

“They are part of a trove of documents turned over by lawyers for Trump’s presidential campaign to investigators looking into the Kremlin’s interference in the 2016 election. A source close to Manafort confirmed their authenticity.”

Manafort’s Offer to Russian Oligarch Was Tied to Deal

“When Donald Trump’s campaign chairman offered private briefings to a Russian oligarch close to President Vladimir Putin last year, he wasn’t only appealing to a superpower, he was pursuing a personal mission: the end to a costly dispute over a failed business deal,” Bloomberg reports.

“The campaign’s chairman, Paul Manafort, wanted a meeting in hopes of resolving a long-simmering dispute with the Russian, said two people familiar with the offer.”

Manafort Offered Private Briefings to Russians

“Less than two weeks before Donald Trump accepted the Republican presidential nomination, his campaign chairman offered to provide briefings on the race to a Russian billionaire closely aligned with the Kremlin,” the Washington Post reports.

“Paul Manafort made the offer in an email to an overseas intermediary, asking that a message be sent to Oleg Deripaska, an aluminum magnate with whom Manafort had done business in the past.”

Key detail: “The emails are among tens of thousands of documents that have been turned over to congressional investigators and Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller.”

Mueller’s Focus on Manafort Goes Back 11 Years

Special Counsel Robert Mueller “is reaching back more than a decade in its investigation of Paul Manafort, a sign of the pressure Mueller is placing on President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman,” CNN reports.

“The FBI’s warrant for a July search of Manafort’s Alexandria, Virginia, home said the investigation centered on possible crimes committed as far back as January 2006, according to a source briefed on the investigation.”

“The broad time frame is the latest indication that Mueller’s team is going well beyond Russian meddling during the campaign as part of its investigation of Trump campaign associates.”