IIn just two years, Paul Manafort went from being one of the most requested Republican lobbyists in Washington to being a political pariah, and now his conviction will seal that status forever.
It has been a long and spectacular fall for the former campaign manager of Trump, 69, the son of a small-town mayor who worked for four US presidents. UU And he won his fortune as Washington's spokesman for some of the most notorious dictators in the world.
Today Manafort has few defenders in the nation's capital, after being convicted of tax fraud and accused of not registering as a foreign agent by special lawyer Robert Mueller.
Even the former head of Manafort, President Trump, said he would never have hired the former lobbyist if he had known about the accusations.
"Paul Manafort entered the campaign very late and was with us for a short period of time (he represented Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and many others over the years), but we should have told us that Comey and the boys they were doing a number on him, and he would not have been hired! Trump wrote in a Twitter post in June.
Power brokers: Paul Manafort, his future business partners Roger Stone and Lee Atwater, were photographed as young Republican agents. Stone, a confidant of Trump and a famous dirty political trickster is now fighting the Mueller probe; Atwater died in 1991, a former RNC president with a reputation for dirty campaigns. The three took advantage of their political work by pressing the elected
Manafort, grandson of an Italian immigrant, grew up in an unconditional Republican home in New Britain, Connecticut.
When he was 16 years old, his father Paul John Manafort Sr. was elected mayor of New Britain and served for three terms.
In 1981, Manafort Sr. was accused, but later acquitted, of perjury charges in a widespread corruption and bribery scandal in the city that also trapped police and fire chiefs.
After Catholic parochial schools and graduating from the Law School of Georgetown University, Manafort went on to work as an adviser to Republican presidents Gerald Ford.
He served as an advisor to Ronald Reagan, George H.W. The presidential campaign of Bush and Bob Dole.
But he, and his business partners, resolved how to turn political advice into a source of cash: pressuring the very politicians they had helped choose.
He was a co-founder of a prestigious lobbying firm with former Nixon adviser Roger Stone and other partners who bought their access to the top Republicans from US companies. UU., State and municipal governments, and anyone who pays.
That came to encompass the wider world as well; Manafort's lobbying list included brutal regimes willing to pay high fees for their services, including Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos and Zaire's military leader Mobutu Sese Seko.
Betrayed: Kathleen Manafort stayed with her husband despite the fact that her family had found her lover's test on Instagram; she attended every minute of her trial
Manafort founded his own political consulting firm in 2005, bringing his former inmate Rick Gates as his trusted assistant.
He also continued to face controversial clients. In 2010, Manafort helped elect Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, head of the Party of Regions allied with Putin in Ukraine.
The victory was worth it: between 2010 and 2014, federal investigators said the Manafort firm won a "spigot in cash": $ 60 million in fees from political sponsors of the Regions Party.
According to prosecutors, Manafort hid the funds in a series of offshore bank accounts and shell companies, and did not disclose the income on their tax returns. In total, they claim that they evaded taxes on $ 15 million.
But after Yanukovych was elected out of power by the Ukrainian Parliament in 2014, the fortunes of Manafort suddenly changed. He stopped receiving payments from the wealthy supporters of Yanukovych's oligarchy and began having problems paying his bills.
This is when prosecutors claim that Manafort began applying for loans using false financial information. In total, they said that he swindled the banks for $ 20 million.
The alleged crimes of Manafort were discovered in the course of an investigation by a special lawyer led by Robert Mueller, who has been investigating the possible Russian interference in the 2016 elections and the collusion with the Trump campaign.
In addition to the trial for tax and banking fraud in Alexandria, Virginia, Manafort also faces additional charges for not registering as a foreign agent for its work in Ukraine. That trial will take place in Washington, D.C.
Even before charges were brought against him, Manafort's personal life had been falling apart, according to years of pirated text messages between his daughters Andrea, 32, and Jessica, 36, who posted online.
According to the messages, Manafort's family had surprised him by having an affair with a woman who was about the same age as her daughters, renting an expensive house in the Hamptons and paying her credit card bill.
They discovered the romance after seeing the messages of the woman bragging about her expensive trips and dinners on Instagram.
Manafort, who suffered an emotional collapse according to messages, committed to a psychiatric clinic in Arizona in 2015.
Texts: The daughters of Manafort, Jessica (left, with her ex-husband Jeff Yohai) and Andrea (right with her husband Christopher Shand) exchanged text messages that were hacked revealing their business and calling him a psychopath.
Lobby Fruits: This is the condominium that dominates the Potomac, where the FBI raided Manafort by order of Mueller. He bought it for $ 2.75 million, part of a real estate empire that was conservatively worth $ 15 million
After being released in 2016, claiming he had "a new vision" of himself, he joined the Trump campaign and became the campaign director of the candidate during the crucial months surrounding the Republican National Convention.
His daughter Andrea had a different vision of that. She wrote in a leaked text to a friend, who was not named in the escape: "Trump probably has more moral than my father. Which is just saying something about my dad. My dad is a psychopath! At least triumph, let your wives leave it. Also, Trump has been a good father. "
And she also sent a text message: & # 39; Trump waited a bit too much in my opinion, but I can attest to the fact that he has now hired one of the world's greatest manipulators. I hope my father does. Then I can sell my memories with all their dirty secrets for a good penny. "
His other daughter, Jessica Manafort, filed a lawsuit to change her name to Jessica Bond in August, after her conviction, and told the Los Angeles Times: "I am a passionate liberal and a registered Democrat, and this has been difficult for me."
Despite the clearly unhappy family, Manafort's wife, Kathleen, was by his side before his infidelity.
She loyally attended each day of her trial for tax fraud, always sitting in line directly behind her defense table.
Since June, Manafort has been imprisoned for alleged manipulation of witnesses related to his case as a foreign agent. He has been serving that sentence in the Alexandria County jail, which is near the federal court where his tax and banking fraud trial was conducted.
After his conviction for eight of the 18 counts, he was kept inside because the result did not affect the accusation of witness tampering.
In a recent police photo, the Manafort fashion conscious sports a jail suit and an incipient beard. His brown hair, which he previously dyed, is now dyed gray.
The former lobbyist, who once spent $ 18,000 on a python skin jacket, was also forced to attend his trial without socks, because he reportedly refused the targets he should use as an inmate.
Manafort's conviction even affected the legacy of his father, a popular three-term mayor in New Britain, Connecticut, from 1965 to 1971, who was investigated for corruption, but unlike his son, he was never charged.
In August, the city changed a street named after the former mayor of & # 39; Paul Manafort Drive & # 39; a & # 39; Paul Manafort Mr. Drive & # 39; in order to distance him from the controversy surrounding the trial of Manafort.