Lots of hits today on Manafort. From The New York Times:
Aug. 19 was an eventful day for Paul Manafort.
That morning, he stepped down from guiding Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign, after a brief tenure during which Mr. Trump won the Republican nomination, Democrats’ emails were hacked and the campaign’s contacts with Russia came under scrutiny. Dogged by revelations about past financial dealings in Ukraine, Mr. Manafort retreated from public view.
But behind the scenes, he was busy with other matters. Papers were recorded that same day creating a shell company controlled by Mr. Manafort that soon received $13 million in loans from two businesses with ties to Mr. Trump, including one that partners with a Ukrainian-born billionaire and another led by a Trump economic adviser. They were among $20 million in loans secured by properties belonging to Mr. Manafort and his wife.
The transactions raise a number of questions, including whether Mr. Manafort’s decision to turn to Trump-connected lenders was related to his role in the campaign, where he had agreed to serve for free.
Millions in loans from businesses owned by Ukrainian billionaires? That is a classic Putin payment method. And the shell company receptacle’s being set up the very same day he resigned, makes it highly suspicious. It suggests that the reason he offered to work for free for Trump was because he was being bankrolled by, um, someone else.
To call it collusion might be an understatement.