What kind of threat does Paul Manafort now pose to Donald Trump? Robert Mueller’s indictment of the fallen lobbyist is a masterful portrait of a craven man and his methods. But the chronology contained in the document filed this morning takes us right up to the eve of Manafort joining the Trump campaign, and then leaves the reader bursting with curiosity about what comes next. While Robert Mueller has tied up all sorts of narratives about Manafort’s strange career in Ukraine, so many strands of the Manafort story remain maddeningly untidy.

[Paul Manafort’s decades of shady deals laid the groundwork for the corruption of Washington.]

Perhaps not even Robert Mueller fully knows what Paul Manafort has to offer about his time in the Trump campaign. But in the unresolved threads of the tale, there are hints of the subjects that Manafort could clarify. When we look at ellipses in the case that Mueller has laid out, all the chapters of the Manafort story he hasn’t yet officially pursued, we can guess the lines of questioning that might dominate Paul Manafort’s meetings with the lawyers in the special prosecutor’s office.

The Oleg Deripaska Connection

At the very beginning of his time working in Ukraine in 2003, Paul Manafort was in the employ of one Russia’s richest men, an aluminum magnate called Oleg Deripaska. We lazily describe many Russian oligarchs as residing in Vladimir Putin’s inner circle. But in the case of Oleg Deripaska, that closeness is a documented fact.

Between 2003 and 2008, Manafort and his firm worked for Deripaska across Europe—in Montenegro, Georgia, and Ukraine. Over that time, the consultant and client also became business partners. Deripaska invested millions in a private equity fund that Manafort established, with the intent of buying assets across the former Soviet Union. Based on …read more

Source:: The Atlantic – Best of


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