Paul Manafort

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.”

Will Paul Manafort Flip?

Renato Mariotti: “We now know the Mueller probe will likely result in charges. More importantly, the tactic that Mueller is using — telling Manafort that he will be charged — is generally used when prosecutors are trying to get a defendant to ‘flip.’ This strongly suggests what we’ve long expected — that Mueller is trying to ‘flip’ Manafort.”

“What causes a target to ‘flip’? The #1 factor is assembling sufficient evidence to make it likely that the person will be convicted and serve a prison sentence. Mueller’s team is being as aggressive as possible to indicate to Manafort that he should be concerned about that possibility. Subpoenaing Manafort’s aides and his lawyer… shows his focus on Manafort.”

Lawfare: “Note that if Manafort cooperates, we may not see anything public for a long time to come. Delay, that is, may be a sign of success. But in the absence of cooperation, the fireworks may be about to begin.”

Federal Investigators Wiretapped Manafort

“U.S. investigators wiretapped former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort under secret court orders before and after the election, sources tell CNN, an extraordinary step involving a high-ranking campaign official now at the center of the Russia meddling probe.”

“The government snooping continued into early this year, including a period when Manafort was known to talk to President Trump.”

Meanwhile, the New York Times reports that prosecutors told Manafort they planned to indict him when they raided his home in July.

“Dispensing with the plodding pace typical of many white-collar investigations, Mr. Mueller’s team has used what some describe as shock-and-awe tactics to intimidate witnesses and potential targets of the inquiry.”

Mueller Subpoenas Manafort Attorney and Spokesman

Special Counsel Robert Mueller “has issued subpoenas to a former lawyer for Paul Manafort and to Manafort’s current spokesman, an aggressive tactic that suggests an effort to add pressure on the former Trump campaign chairman,” CNN reports.

“The subpoenas seeking documents and testimony were sent to Melissa Laurenza, an attorney with the Akin Gump law firm who until recently represented Manafort, and to Jason Maloni, who is Manafort’s spokesman… It’s unclear what specific information the Mueller investigators believe Laurenza and Maloni may have. But issuing subpoenas to a lawyer of someone under investigation is unusual, in part because it raises potential attorney-client privilege issues that prosecutors tend to try to avoid. Maloni, as a public relations representative, doesn’t have the same attorney-client privilege protections.”

Pressure Grows on Paul Manafort

“Two sources familiar with the inquiry tell McClatchy that investigators are working to confirm information indicating that Manafort and the consulting firms he led earned between $80 million and $100 million over a decade from pro-Moscow Ukrainian and Russian clients.”

“Mueller’s expanded focus on Manafort’s complicated financial picture is zeroing in on whether he may have evaded taxes or engaged in any money laundering schemes, the sources say, and the hunt for his financial records through a labyrinth of offshore bank and business accounts has become an important prong of the investigation.”

Key takeaway: “Manafort, who chaired the Trump campaign for three months in mid-2016 and earlier spent two months coordinating the search for pro-Trump delegates, is a prime target as investigators attempt to win the cooperation of key members of the campaign’s inner circle.”

Manafort Sought $850 Million Deal with Putin Ally

Paul Manafort “partnered on an $850 million New York real estate deal with an ally of Vladimir Putin and a Ukrainian moneyman whom the Justice Department recently described as an organized crime member,” the Daily Beast reports.

“That’s according a 2008 memo written by Rick Gates, Manafort’s business partner and fellow alumnus of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. In it, Gates enthused about finalizing with the financing necessary to acquire New York’s louche Drake Hotel.”

Manafort Switches Legal Team

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort “is changing his attorneys as a federal investigation heats up into his financial transactions,” Politico reports.

Manafort’s case will now be handled by Miller and Chevalier, a boutique firm in Washington that specializes in complicated financial crimes among other issues… Manafort is cutting ties with WilmerHale, the firm that has represented him in the matter so far. His former lawyer there, Reg Brown, led the congressional investigations practice.”

Trump Says It Was ‘Tough Stuff’ to Raid Manafort Home

President Trump said he was “surprised” by the fact that the FBI conducted an early morning raid of his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s home last month, CNN reports.

Said Trump: “You know, they do that very seldom, so I was surprised to see it. I was very, very surprised to see it. I thought it was a very, very strong signal, or whatever.”

He added: “But to do that early in the morning, whether or not it was appropriate you’d have to ask them. I’ve always found Paul Manafort to be a very decent man. He’s like a lot of other people — probably makes consultant fees from all over the place. Who knows? I don’t know, but I thought it was pretty tough stuff to wake him up, perhaps his family was there. I think that’s pretty tough stuff.”

Feds Sought Cooperation from Manafort’s Son-in-Law

“Federal investigators sought cooperation from Paul Manafort’s son-in-law in an effort to increase pressure on President Trump’s former campaign chairman,” Politico reports.

“Investigators approached Jeffrey Yohai, who has partnered in business deals with Manafort, earlier this summer, setting off ‘real waves’ in Manafort’s orbit, one of these people said. Another of these people said investigators are trying to get ‘into Manafort’s head.'”

FBI Conducted Predawn Raid of Manafort’s Home

“FBI agents raided the Alexandria home of President Trump’s former campaign chairman late last month, using a search warrant to seize documents and other materials,” the Washington Post reports.

“Federal agents appeared at Paul Manafort’s home without advance warning in the predawn hours of July 26, the day after he met voluntarily with the staff for the Senate Intelligence Committee.”

“The search warrant was wide-ranging and FBI agents working with special counsel Robert Mueller departed the home with various records… The search warrant indicates investigators may have argued to a federal judge they had reason to believe Manafort could not be trusted to turn over all records in response to a grand jury subpoena.”

New York Times: “Officials did not disclose where the search warrant was carried out. Mr. Manafort has homes in Virginia, Florida, New York City and the Hamptons.”

Ex-Manafort Associate Is Tied to Russian Mobsters

The Department of Justice has identified a former business associate of ex-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort as an “upper-echelon associate of Russian organized crime,” NBC News reports.

“The declaration came in a 115-page filing as part of the government’s case against Dmytro Firtash, a Ukrainian oligarch who was once involved in a failed multimillion-dollar deal to buy New York’s Drake Hotel with Manafort, and an important player in the Ukrainian political party for which Manafort worked.”