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Manafort Offered to Give Russian Billionaire “Private Briefings” on 2016 Campaign

Published: September 21, 2017
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Manafort Offered to Give Russian Billionaire “Private Briefings” on 2016 Campaign
 

Former Trump presidential campaign manager Paul Manafort sent an e-mail on July 7, 2016, intended for Russian aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska (shown), offering to provide private briefings on the presidential race. The e-mails were sent to an overseas intermediary with a request to forward them to Deripaska. “If he needs private briefings we can accommodate,” Manafort wrote in the e-mail, portions of which were read to the Washington Post, which broke this story. As we shall discuss later, however, Special Counsel Robert Mueller does not seem to be sufficiently objective to lead the investigation into Manafort’s activities.

The Post reported that the e-mails are among tens of thousands of documents that have been turned over to congressional investigators and special counsel Robert Mueller III’s team that is investigating whether members of the Trump campaign cooperated with Russians they suspect tried to interfere in the 2016 presidential election

However, notes the report, there is no evidence in the documents showing that Deripaska received Manafort’s offer or that any briefings took place. The Post also quoted a spokeswoman for Deripaska who dismissed the e-mail exchanges as scheming by “consultants in the notorious ‘beltway bandit’ industry.”

The New American reported in an August 9 article that during the early morning hours of July 26, FBI agents raided Manafort’s Alexandria, Virginia home.

The article reported:

The agents were executing a warrant obtained by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, as part of his probe into the alleged interference by the Russian government in last year’s presidential campaign. Manafort has been under investigation by the FBI since 2014 for his work on behalf of the Party of Regions of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, a close ally of the Russians.

The article noted that Mueller has put together an army of 16 lawyers in his probe, and has empaneled a grand jury that can issue subpoenas for business and financial records.

The author of the article, Steve Byas, raised some interesting points about Mueller’s investigation into Manafort’s activities and how most of the media has reported (or not reported) potential legal conflicts within both the Trump and Clinton campaigns last year.

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