The Washington Post reports: Paul Manafort was hired by Donald Trump to bring the wisdom of an old Washington hand to a campaign of political novices and provide expertise on the arcane art of counting convention delegates.
But beneath the image of a campaign wise man is a more complex picture of a veteran consultant who has pursued parallel careers as a lobbyist, political adviser and global dealmaker. He has parlayed political relationships around the world into an array of intricate financial transactions with billionaire oligarchs and other controversial investors that have at times spurred legal disputes.
In one case, Manafort tried unsuccessfully to build a luxury high-rise in Manhattan with money from a billionaire backer of a Ukrainian president whom he had advised.
In another deal, real estate records show that Manafort took out and later repaid a $250,000 loan from a Middle Eastern arms dealer at the center of a French inquiry into whether kickbacks were paid to leading politicians in a 1995 presidential campaign.
And in another business venture, a Russian aluminum magnate has accused Manafort in a Cayman Islands court of taking nearly $19 million intended for investments, then failing to account for the funds, return them or respond to numerous inquiries about exactly how the money was used. [Continue reading…]