According to a spokesman for Paul Manafort, the former chair of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign has dismissed his representation and is in the process of securing a new team following an early-morning no-knock raid at his home late last month.
The firm that had been representing him, WilmerHale, was the same D.C. firm where Robert Mueller worked prior to his appointment to the Special Counsel investigating Donald Trump’s collusion with Russia during the campaign Manafort managed. Miller & Chevalier, no strangers to circuitous overseas communications themselves, will be taking over for the sacked WilmerHale.
The importance of the FBI raid at Manafort’s home cannot be understated, although the details of his association with Trump have been deliberately obscured by both parties. Prior to any hint of an investigation of Manafort, the White House had been more than happy to tout his involvement in the campaign, with Sean Spicer telling reporters “Paul’s in charge” after the firing of Trump’s original campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski.
— Sean Spicer (@seanspicer) July 17, 2016
But for a time after Manafort was singled out by investigators, the White House attempted to distance themselves from him. Through Spicer, Trump hilariously insisted he had no idea that Manafort had been a foreign agent for Russia prior to hiring him. Changing courses yet again, on Thursday Donald Trump himself told reporters that he thought the FBI raid was “pretty tough” on Mr. Manafort:
I’ve always found Paul Manafort to be a very decent man. I don’t know, but I thought it was pretty tough stuff to wake him up, perhaps his family was there. I think that’s pretty tough stuff.”
That’s a far cry from Trump’s call for police officers to be even tougher on suspects, but after all, Manafort is apparently a pal.
Featured image via Win McNamee/Getty Images