Remember that Paul Manafort and our republican President Donald Trump go way back at least three decades. Mr. Manafort has been a long term resident at Trump Towers since 2006.
Mr. Manafort bought his upper-floor apartment in Trump Tower in 2006, under the LLC he controlled, John Hannah LLC. Public records show a purchase price of $3.675 million for a condo around 1,500 square feet. But in 2015, he places the Trump Tower property in his own name. He and his wife own several high value properties.
Around 2006, a young gentleman by the name of Rick Gates became an assistant to Paul Manafort.
When Paul Manafort left the president’s campaign in August 2016 when his Russian/ Ukraine ties were being questioned, it was his deputy Rick Gates who took over the management of the Republican convention events.
As per a 3/23 CNN report by Elizabeth Landers and Jeremy Diamond, “Rick Gates, the longtime deputy to President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, was forced to leave his position with a nonprofit supporting Trump this week due to his longstanding relationship with Manafort, two sources familiar with the matter told CNN.”
“As per a 3/23/17 Raw Story article by Travis Gettys, “”Manafort and Gates promoted the pro-Russian Party of Regions on behalf of then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, and introduced the pro-Yanukovych European Center for a Modern Ukraine to the lobbying firms Mercury LLC and the Podesta Group.””Both of those Washington-based lobbying firms hired outside investigators to determine whether they’d been misled by Gates.”
“Gates was named the Trump campaign’s liaison to the Republican National Committee just hours after Manafort quit his unpaid chairmanship in August over his alleged financial ties to Russia.”
“He left that role, in which he maintained offices at both the RNC and Trump Tower, two weeks later after former Citizens United head David Bossie — who is putting together a potential rival group to America First Policies — was named deputy campaign manager.” (around September 2016)
“Gates was blamed by campaign sources for Melania Trump’s RNC speech that included a plagiarized portion of a speech given by former first lady Michelle Obama, although he denies the claims.”
On 3/23/17 Tom Hamburger of the Washington Post penned the following article about Rick Gates, “Manafort is gone, but his business associate remains a key part of Trump’s operation.” (Alice Crites, David Nakamura and Adam Entous contributed to this report.)
“The White House on Wednesday sought to again distance itself from President Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, who is under increasing scrutiny over his connections to Russian business interests.”
“But even as Trump officials downplay Manafort’s role, his decade-long business associate Rick Gates remains entrenched in the president’s operation. Gates is one of four people leading a Trump-blessed group that defends the president’s agenda. As recently as last week, he was at the White House to meet with officials as part of that work.”
“Through Manafort, Gates is tied to many of the same business titans from Ukraine and Russia, including Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch with strong ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. On Wednesday, the Associated Press reported that Manafort had a multimillion-dollar contract with Deripaska between at least 2005 and 2009 that was aimed at helping the political interests of Putin.”
“Manafort has acknowledged the contract with Deripaska but denied that it, or any other of their dealings, had anything to do with the Russian government. In a brief interview, Gates described his work as being focused on “supporting the private equity fund started by the firm and democracy building and party building in Ukraine.”
“Gates also acknowledged a role in at least two recent, controversial deals involving separate Putin-connected oligarchs, including one other with Deripaska. Both led to lawsuits in which Gates was listed as a partner to Manafort, though Gates said he holds no equity interest in the firm.”
“Potential connections between Trump’s associates and the Russian government gained renewed interest this week after FBI Director James B. Comey publicly confirmed Monday that his agency is actively investigating whether there was collusion between the two sides. Manafort and Gates said they had not been contacted by the FBI or any other law enforcement agency.”
“Gates and Manafort are two of many Trump associates with connections to Russia, including former national security adviser Michael Flynn; Carter Page, a former Trump foreign policy adviser; and Roger Stone, a Trump ally who claimed to have communicated indirectly with WikiLeaks before emails hacked by Russian agents were published last summer. All have denied any wrongdoing and said their alleged ties to Russia are being exaggerated to undermine the president.”
“Manafort’s role in potential dealings with Russia gained new attention Wednesday when the AP reported that Manafort proposed in 2005 a plan to influence politics, business dealings and news coverage inside the United States, Europe and the former Soviet republics to benefit the Putin government. Gates did not join the firm until the following year.”
“Manafort said Wednesday that his work for Deripaska was designed to benefit the Russian business executive’s company, Rusal, not the Russian government.”
“I have always publicly acknowledged that I worked for Mr. Deripaska and his company,” Manafort said in a statement Wednesday. “I did not work for the Russian government. Once again, smear and innuendo are being used to paint a false picture.”
In the mid-1990s, Manafort and Richard H. Davis, a longtime Republican political consultant, formed Davis Manafort. Gates joined the firm in 2006.”
“That year, the firm wooed Deripaska as a client, telling him that their goal was to set up a $200 million fund to make a series of private equity investments and acquisitions, primarily in Russia and Ukraine, according to documents in the lawsuit. The partnership making the investments was created in the Cayman Islands in 2007.”
“By 2014, relations between Manafort and Gates and Derispaska had soured considerably.”
“That year, Gates and Manafort were sued by Deripaska, who accused them 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 how the money was used.”
“At one point, attorneys for Deripaska claimed that they could not locate Manafort or Gates. The Russian tycoon hired a private investigator to track them down, according to a 2014 petition that Deripaska’s attorneys filed in a Cayman Islands court seeking recovery of the money.”