AP NEWS

Legal defense fund set up for Paul Manafort

May 30, 2018

Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort apparently has thoughtful friends.

They’ve started a legal defense fund to cover his growing legal expenses in the special counsel’s ongoing investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged ties to Russia.

“Long time friends of Paul Manafort have established this Legal Defense Trust Fund to assist Paul and his family in meeting the tremendous legal costs resulting from the proceedings commenced against him,” the fund’s website reads.

There are no names associated with the website indicating who Manafort’s friends might be, and the site directs money orders and checks be mailed to a P.O. Box in New Jersey. Manafort was born in Connecticut, where his father — Paul Manafort Sr. — served as a three-term mayor in New Britain.

Jason Maloni, a spokesman for Paul Manafort, said he does not know who started the fund, and declined to comment further.

The website does not detail Manafort’s expenses, nor does it provide a fundraising goal. It does state that any leftover funds will be donated to the American Civil Liberties Union or The Brain Trauma Foundation.

Manafort has been charged with money laundering, tax evasion, bank fraud and undisclosed lobbying on behalf of a foreign entity. He has plead guilty to all charges, with upcoming trials scheduled for July 24 in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, and a second trial set for Sept. 17 in Washington, D.C.

The fund’s website has a page dedicated to Manafort’s “lifetime of service,” which touts his many presidential advisory roles but leaves out his work in Ukraine on behalf of a pro-Russian political party.

kkrasselt@hearstmediact.com; 203-842-2563; @kaitlynkrasselt