Were Manafort’s Crimes Just For Years Before Working For Trump?

A Bizarre Defense That Is Factually Wrong.

One of the weirder claims made by Trump and his supporters of the allegations against Paul Manafort is that the allegations only involve conduct for years before Manafort worked for Trump. Trump himself has tweeted this defense and others (particularly Fox News) have parroted it.

Keeping in mind that Manafort was hired by Trump in early March 2016 (Manfort left the campaign in mid-August 2016), I am going to actually quote from the indictment.

“From approximately 2006 and 2017, Manafort, along with others including Richard W. Gates III (Gates), engaged in a scheme to hide Ukraine income from the United States authorities, while enjoying the use of the money.”

That includes during the period he worked for Trump.

“Between in or around 2008 and 2017, both dates being approximate and inclusive, in the District of Columbia and elsewhere, Manafort and others devised and intended to devise, and executed a scheme of artifice to defraud, and obtain money and property by means of false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises from the United States and others. As part of this scheme Manafort repeatedly provided and caused to be provided false information to financial bookkeepers, tax accountants, and legal counsel, among others.”

That includes during the period he worked for Trump.

“In November 2016 and February 2017 Manafort and Gates, and DMI caused false and misleading letters to be submitted to the Department of Justice . . . The letters, both of which were signed and approved by Manafort and Gates . . .”

This was after Manafort’s involvement in the campaign but while Gates was still in the campaign, transition team and administration. Gates continued to work on the Trump Campaign, transition team, and administration well after Manafort left.

“From in or about and between 2006 and 2017, both dates being approximate and inclusive, in the District of Columbia and elsewhere, the defendant Paul J. Manafort, Jr., together and with others, knowing and intentionally conspired to defraud the United States.

That includes the period he worked for Trump.

“In or around and between 2006 and 2016, both dates being approximate and inclusive, within the District of Columbia and elsewhere, the defendant Paul J. Manafort, Jr., together and with others did knowingly and intentionally conspire to [launder money].”

This likely included the time Manafort worked for Trump.

Also in the indictment are witness tampering charges which were for February 23, 2018 through April 2018. This was after Manafort’s original indictments and after he worked for Trump.

Put simply the indictment alleges Manafort committed many of his illegal acts while working for Trump. This defense of Trump is just another lie.

I have to add that a defense that Manafort was deep in illicit financial dealings with Russian spies, for a full decade before Trump hired him, is only a defense for Trump hiring in him in the surreal alt-facted world of Trumpers. Sensible minds should think that would just make it worse.

Written by

Retired lawyer & Army vet in The Villages of Florida. Lifelong: Republican (pre-Trump), Constitution buff, science nerd & dog lover. Twitter: @KeithDB80

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