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Offbeat The Manafort scramble: Raising millions for himself even as he ran Trump’s campaign

04:45  11 august  2018
04:45  11 august  2018 Source:   msn.com

Ukraine in focus as Manafort trial in U.S. heads to second day

  Ukraine in focus as Manafort trial in U.S. heads to second day The political consulting work that President Donald Trump's onetime campaign chairman Paul Manafort did to earn $60 million in Ukraine is expected to take the spotlight on Wednesday on the second day of his criminal trial. The first witness set to be questioned by prosecutors is Daniel Rabin, a political consultant who produced TV ads for Manafort in Ukraine. Rabin will likely be asked to elaborate on the nature of Manafort's work for pro-Russian politicians there.Prosecutors said their second witness would be an FBI agent, whose name was not disclosed.

Even as his unlikely campaign was gathering steam, it was struggling to win over a party establishment that was still largely aligned against him . “ Trump understands this,” Manafort said. “. . . Remember, he ran as an outsider.” On May 16, Citizens Bank loan officer David Fallarino urged Manafort and

Even as his unlikely campaign was gathering steam, it was struggling to win over a party establishment that was still largely aligned against him . “ Trump understands this,” Manafort said. “. . . Remember, he ran as an outsider.” On May 16, Citizens Bank loan officer David Fallarino urged Manafort and

Paul Manafort. © MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images Paul Manafort.

Paul Manafort, a valued customer of the Trump Organization who had spent $3.7 million to buy Apartment 43G in Trump Tower, appeared to be just what Donald Trump wanted in March 2016: A consummate Washington insider, deeply experienced in the byzantine art of wrangling convention delegates, yet also someone who could claim to be an outsider, a successful entrepreneur with overseas clients.

Manafort’s offer to take on the planning for the Republican convention in Cleveland that summer was almost too good to be true: The legendary Washington political consultant and lobbyist, a man who visibly enjoyed the fruits of his labor, was curiously volunteering to work for free.

Manafort's Former Accountant Fired by Firm After Testimony

  Manafort's Former Accountant Fired by Firm After Testimony Paul Manafort’s former accountant was fired from a Virginia firm after she told the court she was aware that Manafort’s tax returns contained false information. Cindy Laporta testified Friday in the government’s case against the former Trump campaign chairman, saying she went along with the scam because she was worried Manafort and his right-hand-man Rick Gates would sue. Laporta was given immunity from prosecution for her testimony in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia.Kositzka, Wicks & Co. said in a statement Tuesday it was "shocked by Ms.

Here is a breakdown of the time he spent as an official member of the Trump campaign . Administration' s 'own numbers don't even support' fuel-efficiency proposal: Expert. Colbert: Despite spending .26 million , Manafort didn't 'look like a million bucks'.

Paul Manafort -- Donald Trump ’ s former 2016 campaign chairman turns himself in. Manafort ran Trump ’ s presidential campaign from late May until August 2016, when he was fired amid news about his past lobbying work for pro-Russian Ukrainian businessmen.

The candidate liked what he saw. Manafort was in.

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What no one in Trump’s inner circle knew was that just as they were bringing Manafort aboard, the man who would manage the campaign through the vital transition from the primaries to the convention and beyond was scrambling to save his own business.

Manafort managed to get through his six months at the pinnacle of the Trump campaign without letting on that his consulting business was tanking and that he was making moves that would lead inexorably to the federal trial now underway in Alexandria, Va. — an ordeal that could end with Manafort spending the rest of his life in prison.

From March to August of the election year, there was no sign, according to Trump campaign insiders, that Manafort was in crisis.

Manafort trial focus shifts to bank fraud as prosecutors near end of case

  Manafort trial focus shifts to bank fraud as prosecutors near end of case The trial of Paul Manafort, U.S. President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, is expected to shift focus on Thursday from his alleged tax evasion to bank fraud as the prosecution's case heads into its final two days.Prosecutors are expected to call a series of bankers to the stand to question them about Manafort's alleged efforts to mislead them with doctored financial statements in a scramble in 2015 and 2016 to borrow against real estate.

“ He could have kept running campaigns for the Yanukovychs of the world, and nobody would have cared,” said Hector T. Hoyos, one of Mr. Manafort ’ s closest friends and business partners. “But he took on the Trump campaign because he believed that the country was going down the wrong path, and

The former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort , surrendered to the F.B.I. and pleaded not guilty to charges that he laundered millions of dollars While the indictment paints an unflattering picture of the man Mr. Trump tapped to run his campaign , the allegations long predate his involvement in the

Presidential nominee Donald Trump gives a thumbs up alongside his campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and daughter Ivanka during Trump’s walk-through at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July 2016. © Rick Wilking/Reuters Presidential nominee Donald Trump gives a thumbs up alongside his campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and daughter Ivanka during Trump’s walk-through at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July 2016.

“Nothing, zero, zip, nada,” said Michael Caputo, a longtime friend of Manafort’s who also worked on the campaign that spring. “Paul Manafort is the iceman. He finds stress nourishing. He’s not just calm in the face of stress — it’s something he thrives on.”

But as Manafort’s trial on tax and bank fraud charges enters its home stretch, emails and other documents submitted as evidence show that the man who had taken on the enormous task of turning around a troubled presidential campaign was at the same time carrying out what prosecutors portray as a global fraud scheme.

At the least, the documents make clear that despite the heavy demands of the campaign, Manafort was also busy maneuvering to salvage his own finances, with an eye toward building a new phase of his career.

3 takeaways from Day 10 of Paul Manafort's trial

  3 takeaways from Day 10 of Paul Manafort's trial The prosecution in the trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort rested Monday after filling up 10 days with 27 witnesses. Here are three takeaways: Final testimonyProsecutors tied up the loose ends of their case on Monday, calling the last banker to testify and asking a financial fraud federal agent to return to the witness box. The banker, James Brennan of Federal Savings Bank, put the finishing touches on how his bank's founder and chairman, Stephen Calk, assisted in Manafort's fraud by pushing $16 million in loans the bank knew were too risky to give.

He reentered the spotlight by helming Trump ’ s campaign during the contentious Republican Trump ’ s lawyer, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, was more explicit — directly raising the Manafort ’s lawyers told Jackson on Friday that even if the contacts were improper, which they denied

Eric Trump called Manafort ’ s work through the primary “amazing” and praised him for getting the campaign through the convention. On Wednesday evening , according to two sources close to the campaign , Trump aides determined that their first TV ad would be focused on an economic message.

Manafort knew he was in danger well before he sought the Trump campaign job. His most lucrative client had gone dry: Viktor Yanukovych, the ex-president of Ukraine, was in exile. Manafort’s expenses quickly outpaced his income.

In April 2015, Manafort sent a panicked email to his longtime deputy, Rick Gates, about his tax situation, which included an estimated $500,000 jump in his tax bill. “WTF? How could I be blindsided like this,” he wrote. “You told me you were on top of this.”

In January 2016, Manafort’s bookkeeper, Heather Washkuhn, emailed him to warn that “$120K is urgently needed for your personal bills.” He owed money on property taxes, home improvements, insurance policies, credit cards — let alone more than $1 million in federal taxes.

Around the same time, Manafort was applying for several bank loans in an effort to raise cash to maintain a lifestyle that included multiple homes, nearly $1 million in suits purchased from one Manhattan boutique, and all manner of antiques and home improvements.

He applied to refinance a condo he owned in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood, claiming that he used it as a second home rather than as an investment property. In an email on Jan. 26, Manafort told his then-son-in-law that an appraiser was coming to look at the loft: “Remember, he believes you and Jessica [Manafort’s daughter] are living there,” Manafort wrote.

U.S. jury to hear closing arguments in Manafort case on Wednesday

  U.S. jury to hear closing arguments in Manafort case on Wednesday Closing arguments are scheduled for Wednesday in the U.S. government's case against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who is on trial on financial fraud charges.The trial, in Alexandria, Virginia, is the first to arise from U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election. But the charges involve tax and bank fraud, not possible collusion between Russia and Donald Trump's campaign for president.

he was effectively running Trump ' s campaign —more so than Manafort —for several months in the summer of 2016; when Manafort was fired, Trump 6/ lousy with secret meetings and calls with Russian nationals— even as Trump (and, one presumes, let's be honest, Gates as well) stayed in

He was hired by Trump ’ s campaign in part because of his experience at the 1976 Republican Amid the shopping sprees, Manafort himself returned frequently to the alleged sources of his fortune in For five months in the spring of 2016, as Trump scrambled to lock down a resistant Republican party

When Manafort wrote to Trump’s friend Tom Barrack on Feb. 29, 2016, to offer his services to the campaign, he presented a rosy picture.

“I have managed presidential campaigns around the world,” he wrote in a memo first reported by the New York Times. “. . . I have avoided the political establishment in Washington since 2005. I will not bring Washington baggage.”

And the cherry on top: “I am not looking for a paid job.”

In retrospect, red flags were flying. “Why did someone who made that kind of money want to come here and work for no money?” asked Barry Bennett, a senior adviser to Trump’s campaign.

Bennett said the campaign should have paused to look into the complications that Manafort’s work for Ukraine might pose. “No one said, ‘Let’s do a little research to see if he’s okay,’ ” Bennett said. “No one did any research at all.”

Trump at that moment was just a few months removed from being little more than a punchline — and a few months away from taking the oath of office as the nation’s 45th president. Even as his unlikely campaign was gathering steam, it was struggling to win over a party establishment that was still largely aligned against him.

Barrack heartily endorsed hiring Manafort, calling him “a killer.” Ivanka Trump printed out Manafort’s email and gave it to her father.

Dem: Trump pardoning Manafort would be grounds for impeachment

  Dem: Trump pardoning Manafort would be grounds for impeachment California Rep. Ted Lieu (D) said Thursday that a decision by President Trump to pardon his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, would be grounds for impeachment, as Manafort faces a jury's impending verdict in his ongoing trial. But he added that he didn't think Republicans would punish such a move."I believe pardoning Paul Manafort would be grounds for impeachment," Lieu told CNN. "Whether Republicans would act on that, I do n't think they would.""[That] is why this November the voters across America have a chance to change the makeup of Congress and put a real check and balance by putting in Democrats to control," he added.Rep.

The White House has tried to distance President Donald Trump from his former campaign chair Paul Manafort , even though their ties go back years and Manafort ran Trump ’ s presidential The Trump campaign announced Manafort was resigning from the campaign , nearly 5 months after he joined.

Manafort himself has said, “Donald Trump and I had some business in the 1980s but we had no relationship until the Trump Asked why he even needed someone to help him around town, Trump laughed. 2007: Barrack helps Manafort , “loaning Trump ’ s future campaign manager .5 million

Around the same time Manafort was pressing for the Trump job, he was applying for bank loans. But some bank officers were having trouble with his paperwork. In early February, Citizens Bank informed him that he had failed a liquidity test because of an outstanding debt.

On Feb. 24, a Citizens Bank mortgage sales employee wrote to Gates and Manafort, asking why Manafort’s loan application showed that he owned a Brooklyn townhouse free and clear — and therefore could use it as collateral — when insurance records showed “that there are mortgages listed on these properties.”

Gates testified that Manafort then asked him to get a copy of an older insurance policy to send to the bank, and he did so.

The troubles snowballed. In mid-March, Gates told Manafort they would have trouble getting a loan from Citizens because their firm’s income was “not going to even get close” to their revenue from previous years “because [the firm] at that time has no clients.”

Around the same time, Jessica Manafort texted her sister, Andrea: “Guess who called Dad last night and asked him to run his convention?”

“Trump,” Andrea responded.

The texts are part of a cache of more than 285,000 messages hacked from Andrea Manafort’s phone and deposited on the “dark net” in 2016. Manafort has said some of the messages are authentic but declined to comment on individual notes.

On March 28, Trump confirmed that Manafort was coming aboard. His first assignment was to manage Trump delegates for the convention, a job he had also done for Gerald Ford in 1976 and later for Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

Trump Calls Manafort ‘Good Person’ and Criticizes Fraud Trial

  Trump Calls Manafort ‘Good Person’ and Criticizes Fraud Trial President Donald Trump called his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort a “very good person."“I think the whole Manafort trial is very sad,” Trump told reporters Friday before departing the White House for a fundraiser in New York. “I think it is a very sad day for our country. He worked for me for a very short period of time. But, you know what, he happens to be a very good person. And I think it’s very sad what they’ve done to Paul Manafort.

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That raises the question: If Manafort was willing to go to such extreme lengths to keep himself afloat, what might he have been willing to do at the helm of the Trump campaign ?

Less than two weeks later, Manafort emailed his Russian employee Konstantin Kilimnik, who had managed his Kiev office and served as his liaison with Oleg Deripaska, a Russian aluminum magnate with whom he had done business.

“I assume you have shown our friends my media coverage, right?” Manafort asked, referring to the many stories in the news about his influential new job.

“Absolutely,” Kilimnik replied. “Every article.”

“How do we use to get whole?” Manafort asked, according to emails described to The Washington Post last year.

The FBI has assessed that Kilimnik has ties to Russian intelligence, which Kilimnik has denied.

Some Trump campaign officials say they didn’t see it at the time but now believe that Manafort was using his job in Trump Tower in an effort to resuscitate his business. They believed he leaked news of his hiring and then used his campaign job “to position himself to either get more foreign business or hold foreigners at bay,” Bennett said. “He was desperate.”

Paul Manafort, then chairman of the Trump campaign, on the floor of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July 2016. Within a month, he would be forced out of the campaign. © Carolyn Kaster/AP Paul Manafort, then chairman of the Trump campaign, on the floor of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July 2016. Within a month, he would be forced out of the campaign.

On April 7, a friend texted Andrea Manafort a link to a story reporting that her father was taking on an “expanded role” in the campaign.

“You’re surprised?? I told you this was the game,” Andrea replied.

On April 13, the company that provided Paul Manafort’s firm with health insurance sent a cut-off notice: “If we do not receive $16,464.22, your . . . coverage will terminate for non-payment effective 5/1/2016. . . . Partial payment cannot be accepted.”

Washkuhn, the bookkeeper, emailed Manafort on April 21 asking for an urgent transfer of funds into the firm’s account so the health insurance could be paid.

That same day, Manafort was at a luxury resort in Hollywood, Fla., leading a closed-door briefing for Republican National Committee members. His mission was to convince them that Trump had been playing a “part” but would now pivot toward a more presidential “persona.”

Analysis: A Manafort-sized cloud hangs over Washington

  Analysis: A Manafort-sized cloud hangs over Washington The ongoing trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is the most important story of the week — and one with the broadest implications as to what the Trump's presidency will be like.On Friday, the trial was in its 14th day. The jury got the case on Thursday, and deliberations are expected to continue next week.

When asked in the spring of 2016 whose voices he was heeding on foreign policy, Trump responded lamely that he listened to himself ; to get out of that On Monday, Mueller charged Manafort , Trump ’ s one-time campaign chairman, with lying about millions in payments from foreign governments and

“He gets it,” Manafort said. “The part that he’s been playing is now evolving into the part that you’ve been expecting.”

Trump, Manafort promised, would tone down his rhetoric and tweet less. “‘You can’t change somebody’s character,” he told the group, “but you can change the way somebody presents himself.”

In the first week of May, as Trump sealed the nomination by winning the Indiana primary, officers at the Banc of California concluded that they “would not feel comfortable” lending Manafort $2 million because “we have little tangible equity support” for such a loan.

On May 7, Kilimnik came to the United States and met with Manafort to discuss their firm’s unpaid bills and other business matters, according to a statement Kilimnik gave The Post last year.

The next day, Manafort went on “Fox News Sunday” to try to calm Republicans who were worried that Trump was dividing their party. “Trump understands this,” Manafort said. “. . . Remember, he ran as an outsider.”

On May 16, Citizens Bank loan officer David Fallarino urged Manafort and Gates to produce documents showing that their firm had more income or else Manafort might not qualify for a loan.

“Understandably you all have 1000 things going on,” the banker wrote. “Just making sure you know the ball is in your court to move the loan forward.”

“I need this done by COB tomorrow,” Manafort emailed Gates at 3 a.m. the next day.

Citizens Bank ultimately denied the loan application after it discovered that Manafort had not disclosed all his debts, which a bank employee called “very unusual.”

But Manafort went on to get $16 million in loans from a banker at Federal Savings Bank who appeared to be interested in a job with Trump, according to testimony at Manafort’s trial Friday.

As his business troubles mounted, Manafort’s campaign job expanded. On June 20, Trump fired campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and made Manafort chairman.

Two weeks later, Manafort wrote Kilimnik, indicating that if Deripaska, the Russian mogul, was interested in “private briefings” about the campaign, “we can accommodate.” A Deripaska spokeswoman has said he was never offered or received such briefings.

On Aug. 19, Trump pushed out Manafort, replacing him with Breitbart News Chairman Stephen K. Bannon.

The move came amid reports that the FBI was working with Ukraine’s anti-corruption agency, which had discovered a “black ledger” showing $12.7 million in alleged payments to Manafort between 2007 and 2012 from Yanukovych’s party, the Party of Regions.

As Manafort’s troubles blossomed, the Trump administration argued that he was never more than an ancillary figure in Trump World. Then-White House press secretary Sean Spicer said last year that Manafort had “played a very limited role for a very limited amount of time.”

Now Manafort, 69, resides in the Alexandria jail.

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Analysis: A Manafort-sized cloud hangs over Washington .
<p>The ongoing trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is the most important story of the week — and one with the broadest implications as to what the Trump's presidency will be like.</p>On Friday, the trial was in its 14th day. The jury got the case on Thursday, and deliberations are expected to continue next week.

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