Paul Manafort has had an eventful week. First, he was subtly fired on Wednesday, August 17. His position as campaign chairman of the Trump campaign was repositioned as the Trump campaign brought in a “campaign CEO,” Stephen Brannon of Breitbart, as well as bringing in a second campaign manager, Kellyanne Conaway. Manafort kept his title at the time so that the campaign would not have to admit that they were in crisis mode, but it was fairly obvious that the shakeup meant that Manafort was ousted.
Yesterday, just two days later, Manafort resigned from his position. It was easy to see that coming and the total revamp of the Trump campaign was an obvious response to his severely plummeting poll numbers, despite Conaway’s insistence that the campaign was not in “shakeup” mode.
It was also fairly obvious why Manafort had to play the sacrificial lamb. Just five days ago on August 15, Bipartisan Report learned that “Manafort’s name has turned up in handwritten ledgers showing illegal donations upwards of $12 million during his position consulting the ruling party of the Ukrainian government.” Today, just five days later, Manafort’s troubles have compounded.
According to CNN, Manafort’s firm is now being investigated as a result of those illegal campaign donations, as well as other shady tactics that were used in Ukraine.
‘FBI and Justice Department prosecutors are conducting an investigation into possible US ties to alleged corruption of the former pro-Russian president of Ukraine, including the work of Paul Manafort’s firm, according to multiple US law enforcement officials.
The investigation is broad and is looking into whether US companies and the financial system were used to aid alleged corruption by the party of former president Viktor Yanukovych.’
Try as they might to convince voters that the polls don’t mean anything and that the campaign’s overhaul didn’t really happen, the Trump campaign will be permanently scarred by this investigation. Calling his opponent “Crooked Hillary” doesn’t have quite the same impact while Trump’s former campaign manager is investigated for crooked dealings.
As for Paul Manafort, we can only hope that he and his firm get exactly what they deserve when the smoke clears and the investigation is concluded.