Paul Manafort

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.”

Manafort Has Notes from Meeting with Russian Lawyer

Paul Manafort “will meet with Senate investigators in the next 48 hours and has agreed to provide notes of the meeting at Trump Tower last year with a Russian lawyer,” Politico reports.

“Manafort attended the entire meeting and was one of three senior campaign officials there, along with Donald Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. and son-in-law Jared Kushner, who left in the middle of the meeting.”

Axios: “Manafort took notes, but Kushner said the meeting was ‘a waste of our time’ and one he ‘did not recall at all’ until it came up in recent media reports and Trump Jr. said the meeting produced ‘no meaningful information.'”

Manafort Being Investigated for Money Laundering

“Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating possible money laundering by Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, as part of his criminal investigation into what U.S. intelligence agencies say was a Kremlin-backed campaign to meddle in the 2016 presidential election,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“The inquiry into the issue by Mr. Mueller, a former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and his team began several weeks ago.”

Manafort Owed Pro-Russian Interests $17 Million

“Financial records filed last year in the secretive tax haven of Cyprus, where Paul J. Manafort kept bank accounts during his years working in Ukraine and investing with a Russian oligarch, indicate that he had been in debt to pro-Russia interests by as much as $17 million before he joined Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign in March 2016,” the New York Times reports.

“The money appears to have been owed by shell companies connected to Mr. Manafort’s business activities in Ukraine when he worked as a consultant to the pro-Russia Party of Regions. The Cyprus documents… include audited financial statements for the companies, which were part of a complex web of more than a dozen entities that transferred millions of dollars among them in the form of loans, payments and fees.”

Kushner to Testify Before Senate Intelligence

“White House senior adviser Jared Kushner has agreed to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee as part of its investigation into Russian election meddling on Monday, July 24,” ABC News has learned.

“The closed-door session sets up what could be one of the most highly anticipated interviews for lawmakers to date.”

Politico reports that on Wednesday, July 26, the Senate Judiciary Committee intends to call Donald Trump Jr. and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort to testify on a panel about foreign influence in elections.

Axios: “Expect wall-to-wall coverage for the open Trump Jr./Manafort hearing.”

New York Seeks Manafort Bank Records

“New York prosecutors have demanded records relating to up to $16 million in loans that a bank run by a former campaign adviser for President Trump made to former campaign chairman Paul Manafort,”  the Wall Street Journal reports.

“The subpoena by the Manhattan district attorney’s office to the Federal Savings Bank, a small Chicago bank run by Steve Calk, sought information on loans the bank issued in November and January to Mr. Manafort and his wife, the person said. The loans were secured by two properties in New York and a condominium in Virginia, real-estate records show.”