Paul Manafort, former Trump campaign chairman with strong ties to pro-Putin forces in the Ukraine, is back in the news today in a big way.
It’s been awhile since the New York Times expose in August 2016 that precipitated his resignation from the Trump campaign. Luckily, American Bridge has compiled a quick rundown of what you need to know about the man who is likely being blackmailed with the President of the United States.
All of this underscores the need for an independent investigation into Trump’s ties to and potentially illegal interactions with Russian interests.
Nine facts about Manafort:
1. Manafort founded and remains a principal at the lobbying firm Black, Manafort, Stone, and Kelly where he represents foreign governments that violated human rights.
*Stone refers to Roger Stone, see #9
2. Manafort represented Putin-ally Viktor Yanukovych in his successful campaign for President of Ukraine.
3. In August 2016, the New York Times uncovered secret ledgers in Ukraine from 2007-2017 earmarking $12.7 million in undisclosed cash payments from Yanukovych’s political party to Manafort.
*Anti-corruption officials in Ukraine did not confirm if Manafort received the payments
4. The same New York Times piece found Manafort orchestrated an $18 million deal between Putin-ally and Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska and an offshore shell company connected to Yanukovych.
5. Manafort resigned from the Trump campaign shortly after this story broke.
6. The FBI confirmed in November 2016 that it was conducting an inquiry into Manafort’s business connections.
7. Earlier this week it was reported that Trump aides were in “constant communication” with Russians monitored by US intelligence during the 2016 election. Manafort and former-NSA Michael Flynn were identified specifically in regular communications.
8. Trump aides Manafort, Roger Stone, Carter Page, and Michael Cohen are under FBI investigation for contact with Russia during the 2016 election.
9. Today, Politico reported Manafort may have been blackmailed while serving as Trump campaign chairman by Ukrainian official Serhiy Leshchenko who claimed to have “bulletproof” information about Manafort and Trump.
Published: Feb 23, 2017