Manafort was convicted on charges related to financial crimes and illegal lobbying with his trial stemming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into election interference.
Paul Manafort is a political consultant and lobbyist who gained prominence for his work in Republican politics. Born on April 1, 1949, in New Britain, Connecticut, Manafort has been involved in numerous political campaigns and international consulting. His association with Donald Trump became notable during the 2016 presidential campaign.
- Manafort began his political career in the 1970s, working on the presidential campaigns of Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan.
- He became known for his expertise in political consulting, particularly for his work on behalf of foreign leaders and governments.
- Manafort’s consulting firm, Black, Manafort, Stone, and Kelly, was involved in lobbying and public relations work.
- He worked for controversial figures such as Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines and Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo).
Work with Trump:
- Manafort joined Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in March 2016, initially as an advisor and later as the campaign chairman.
- He played a key role in managing the Republican National Convention and was credited with helping secure Trump’s nomination.
Resignation and Legal Troubles:
- Manafort resigned from the Trump campaign in August 2016 amid controversy over his previous work in Ukraine.
- In 2018, Manafort faced charges related to financial crimes, including tax and bank fraud, stemming from his consulting work for pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine.
- He was convicted on multiple counts in August 2018 and later pleaded guilty to additional charges to avoid a second trial.
Cooperation with Mueller Investigation:
- Manafort became a cooperating witness in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
- However, Mueller later accused Manafort of breaching his plea agreement by lying to investigators, leading to increased legal scrutiny.
Sentencing and Pardon:
- Manafort was sentenced to a total of 7.5 years in prison for his various convictions.
- In December 2020, Donald Trump pardoned Manafort along with several others, citing what he considered unfair treatment by the justice system.
Paul Manafort’s legal troubles were primarily related to financial crimes and his lobbying activities in Ukraine, rather than direct collusion with Russia during the 2016 election. The pardon from Trump nullified his remaining prison sentence.