For those wondering which of Donald Trump’s various shadowy campaign advisers might ultimately be the one that leads to his own downfall, the odds may now be shifting back toward Paul Manafort. He’s already admitted to having taken tens of millions of dollars from a pro-Kremlin oligarch, and he’s on the verge of registering as a foreign agent. It turns out the Feds, along with New York State and New York City, are going after Manafort’s financial records to get to Trump.
This has been going for a month but is just leaking out now, in apparent response to Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey to try to derail the Russia investigation. Now that all kinds of things are being leaked in order to accelerate the process, it turns out Manafort’s financials are being pursued on three levels. The Wall Street Journal (link) is revealing that New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. are both pursuing Manafort’s real estate deals in the city.
It’s notable that Donald Trump can’t fire either of these two individuals, because they’re not federal employees to begin with. Interestingly, the WSJ article states that the Department of Justice is pursuing Paul Manafort’s financial dealings, which stands out because it’s no longer clear what’s going on inside the DOJ now that Attorney General Jeff Sessions is vaguely un-recusing himself (link). But either way, there’s essentially nothing Trump can do to stop the New York State and city investigations. And they should be a treasure trove.
It’s been long suspected that Donald Trump and Paul Manafort are deeply connected financially. Manafort lives in Trump Tower, and the two both have obsessively odd connections with Russia. So if investigators can indeed get ahold of Manafort’s full financial records, it may reveal Trump’s own financial connections to the Kremlin in the process. Help fund Palmer Report
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report