Trump Campaign Manager Scandal



Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s former campaign manager

In early 2017, there have been scandals involving President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, a 68 year old American lawyer and political consultant.

A number of people are aware of the Trump-Russia scandal, where Trump was accused of involving Russia with his election  in the 2016 United States presidential election. However, Trump’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort, was also involved in this scandal. Manafort was found to be encouraging the Russians to influence the campaign. Trump and Manafort are now under heavy investigation from lawyer Robert Mueller.

According to the FBI, Manafort had sent emails to Oleg Deripaska, a Russian billionaire closely connected to Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin. Deripaska owns one of Russia’s largest industrial groups, Basic Element. These emails had been offers for a private briefing about Trump’s presidential campaign. This would have obviously been a problem, judging by Manafort’s readiness to share private information with Russia, whose relations with America isn’t very beneficial. However, Manafort’s ties with Russia and Deripaska go even deeper than these emails. Their relationship started in the 2000’s, when Manafort was working for a controversial Ukrainian politician. In 2005, Manafort signed a $10 million annual contract with Deripaska. Later, in 2014, Deripaska accused Manafort of taking $19 million from him.

Much of this information obtained about  Manafort came from the U.S. Government and FBI, who had been wiretapping him. The wiretap was secretly authorized by the court, under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). The FISA warrant can only be issued if a suspect is believed to be acting out of the law for a foreign country. The FBI had been spying on Manafort since 2014, when he was working for a very controversial Ukrainian politician. The spying stopped in 2015, but restarted in around 2016 when surveillance  caught Manafort communicating with Russians yet again. Now, Manafort is being investigated under the FISA warrant regarding  the Trump scandal. A couple months ago, under the FISA warrant, the FBI raided Manafort’s home in Alexandria, Virginia on July 25. They seized any materials related to Manafort and the Russian Investigation. This was all done fairly, as a FISA warrant can be used for electronic and physical surveillance. Manafort also cooperated willingly with the search. The FBI still hasn’t found enough evidence to punish Manafort, but they still renew the FISA warrant and spy on him periodically. Whether Paul Manafort is a Russian spy or not, the truth is bound to come out soon.