Paul Manafort — one-time Trump campaign manager and long-time lobbyist prior to — will be losing two properties as a result of his guilty pleas to charges of conspiracy and obstruction of justice, USA Today details. Manafort will see the forfeiture of his Trump Tower condo in New York City, 43G at 721 Fifth Avenue, in addition to the loss of his second house in the Hamptons.
As part of a plea deal, as the Chicago Sun-Times reports, Manafort will also see his general assets frozen. Some of these will be subject to forfeit to the United States federal government as well.
While the charges that Manafort pleaded guilty to were unrelated to his time served with the Trump administration, Robert Mueller’s investigation nonetheless probed Manafort’s past business dealings and found that the lobbyist and his partners in crime had docked tens of millions of dollars of work on the behalf of a former Ukrainian president in exile. The charges — committed between 2006 and 2015 in the decade prior to his work with the Trump presidential campaign — were particularly focused on Manafort’s having hidden his revenues offshore, in Cyprian bank accounts, and then having further lied to investigators when the entire affair was unearthed.
Manafort would be replaced on the campaign trail by pollster Kellyanne Conway, who would go on to be the first female campaign manager to secure a presidential victory.
Special counsel Robert Mueller is also moving to seize Paul Manafort's other New York properties, as well as funds from different bank accounts https://t.co/30fsPTEOqq
— Politics Insider (@Politicsinsider) October 5, 2018
The Trump administration has been distancing itself from Paul Manafort ever since having asked him to resign from his post as campaign chair in 2016, according to Politico. As CNN elaborates upon, at the time the reasoning behind Manafort’s forced departure was claimed to be one of competence — of quickness in answering questions from an adversarial press pool and in conducting the day-to-day business of a burgeoning campaign. Whether or not the Trump campaign had learned of Manafort’s potential legal problems prior to his being pushed out by the Trump team remains an unanswered question.
The denial of a connection between Manafort’s brief stint with the Trump 2016 campaign and the crimes that he has currently pleaded guilty to remains a fixture of discussion, particularly from White House counselor Conway. Appearing on Fox & Friends early last month, Conway made it crystal clear that neither the Trump administration nor Manafort considered his financial misdeeds to reflect poorly on the campaign that they had run just two years prior, The Hill reports.
“This trial obviously centers on matters that have nothing to do with the campaign… I think that even Mr. Manafort as I read it had requested that there be no mention of his brief tenure at the Trump campaign.”
It is as yet unclear what the total forfeiture of assets from Manafort to the federal government will amount to, as the properties are set to be seized as early as October 20, with more asset seizures to follow.