Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, is married with two children – daughters in the law and film industry – and a controversial, estranged son-in-law.
Manafort’s family has been increasingly under public scrutiny as the attention ratchets up on Manafort after a report that the FBI raided his home as part of Robert Mueller’s possibly broadening probe into allegations of potential Russian collusion in the 2016 presidential election.
There were allegations that his daughter’s cell phone was hacked, and the family has been the subject of a negative story in the tabloids. His son-in-law’s finances have also fallen under scrutiny in the media.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Manafort’s Long-Term Marriage to Kathleen Has Become Tabloid Fodder
Kathleen Manafort doesn’t have much of a public profile, although public scrutiny was thrust on her when the National Enquirer alleged that Manafort may have had an affair.
President Trump’s friendship with the tabloid’s CEO David Pecker is well-known, so the accusations, coming around the time that news leaked about the FBI search, raised some eyebrows. The tabloid has previously written negative exposes about Trump’s one-time foes, such as Hillary Clinton and Ted Cruz, while treating Trump himself with kid gloves despite his colorful past.
In June, Trump wrote of MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, “Watched low rated @Morning_Joe for first time in long time. FAKE NEWS. He called me to stop a National Enquirer article. I said no! Bad show.”
A quote in the tabloid that was attributed to an anonymous White House insider even accused Manafort of betraying his country. The Washington Correspondent for New York Magazine highlighted that quote:
The Enquirer story alleged that Manafort was “desperate to save his 39-year marriage to Kathleen, 64.” Dylan Howard, chief content officer and vice president of the parent company of the National Enquirer “scoffed at the speculation about Pecker and Trump’s possible role” in the story, Daily Beast reported.
“The ‘mainstream media’s’ obsession with a story that was published more than a week ago is baffling,” Howard said in a statement to the Daily Beast. “Not only does it underscore the lack of true reporting happening at many outlets, but more important, it is clear proof that no one outside of myself or my editors influence the editorial of The National Enquirer.” Trump has sought recently to downplay his relationship with Manafort.
Manafort and his wife own millions of dollars in real estate, according to published reports.
Paul and Kathleen Manafort “owned a Hamptons getaway worth many millions, and recently sold their longtime Mount Vernon, Virginia, home where they had raised their two daughters,” reported UK Daily Mail.
The British news site reported that’s just the start of their holdings.
The New York Times reported that Manafort and his wife had secured $20 million in mortgages with properties. WYNC alleged that some of Paul Manafort’s New York real estate transactions raise questions, reporting, “Manafort’s New York City transactions follow a pattern: Using shell companies, he purchased the homes in all-cash deals, then transferred the properties into his own name for no money and then took out hefty mortgages against them, according to property records.”
The Mueller probe may be widening to scrutinize Manafort’s finances, with tax and banking records allegedly being taken out of his home.
2. There Were Allegations that the Text Messages of Manafort’s Daughter, Andrea, Were Hacked
Last spring, hackers alleged that they had obtained the text messages of one of Manafort’s two daughters, Andrea. Indeed, the Enquirer based its story on Manafort’s marriage partly on some of those text messages, which allegedly showed Andrea extremely angry about the alleged affair. The New York Times previously reported that Andrea’s text messages were hacked and posted on the Internet “on a website used by Ukrainian hackers.”
The texts are extremely candid and, at times, angry.
According to The New York Times, Manafort disclosed that “his consulting firm had received more than $17 million over two years from a Ukrainian political party with links to the Kremlin.” In that same story, The Times reported that “he also gave millions of dollars to his two daughters, one of whom, Andrea Manafort, apparently had qualms about how her father had earned the money, according to text messages posted last year on a website used by Ukrainian hackers.”
The Times quoted Andrea Manafort as writing to her sister in 2015, referring to protesters’ deaths in Ukraine: “Don’t fool yourself. That money we have is blood money.”
CNN reported that the texts numbered over 300,000 and were allegedly hacked from Andrea’s iPhone. “You know he has killed people in Ukraine? Knowingly,” Andrea Manafort allegedly wrote of her father in 2015 in a message to her sister, CNN alleged. She also allegedly wrote, according to CNN: “Remember when there were all those deaths taking place. A while back. About a year ago. Revolts and what not.”
CNN reported that other texts allegedly read: “Do you know whose strategy that was to cause that, to send those people out and get them slaughtered” and “He has no moral or legal compass.” A Ukrainian human rights lawyer demanded a probe after the release of the texts, CNN reported, while noting that Paul Manafort had not been linked to any of the shootings that took place at protests. “Comment on what? There is nothing,” Paul Manafort responded to CNN.
Politico alleged that the hacked texts showed Paul Manafort may have been the subject of a blackmail attempt. According to Politico, the texts first emerged “in an anonymous post on a so-called darknet website run by a hacktivist collective.”
Raw Story reported that some of the hacked texts allegedly showed the sisters had qualms about Trump. “Im not a trump supporter but i am still proud of dad tho,” Paul’s daughter Jessica Manafort allegedly said in one text, according to Raw Story. “He is the best at what he does.”
Andrea, though, allegedly called the Manafort and Trump alliance “the most dangerous friendship in America” between “a perfect pair” of “power-hungry egomaniacs,” according to Raw Story.
Daily Mail reported that Manafort and his daughter Andrea “bought a three-bedroom, three-bathroom condo apartment in a desirable part of Manhattan’s Chinatown in 2007 for $2.54 million. Public records suggest that it was jointly purchased by Andrea, now 31, and Jesand Investment Corporation LLC, which is controlled by her father.”
3. Manafort’s Son-in-Law Allegedly Met With Federal Investigators
In August, CNN reported, through sources, that Manafort’s son-in-law, Jeffrey Yohai, “met with Department of Justice investigators in recent months” and allegedly gave them “information and documents.”
CNN added that it was unclear whether the information provided investigators with anything of use; “Yohai has been under federal investigation for real estate deals he made with Manafort,” CNN reported, adding that Manafort’s daughter, Jessica, filed for divorce from Yohai in March 2017.
According to CNN, the investigation may be looking into financial issues involving Paul Manafort. The New York Times reported in June that federal investigators were looking into “financial transactions involving Paul Manafort and his son-in-law” involving the “financing of” real estate developments using Manafort’s money. Other investors “solicited by” Yohai included Dustin Hoffman, reported The New York Times.
The Real Deal, a Los Angeles Real Estate magazine, reported that Yohai “filed for bankruptcy protection for four of his Los Angeles properties.” The site referred to Yohai as a “spec house developer.”
In the lawsuit, reported Real Deal, Guy Aroch, a Manhattan-based photographer, accused “Yohai of scamming him out of $3 million.” The lawsuit was dismissed after jurisdictional questions were raised, federal court records showed. Yohai denied the charges.
The lawsuit contends that “as the son-in-law of Paul Manafort – Donald Trump’s former campaign manager – Yohai has had the opportunity to meet numerous public figures and celebrities, many of whom he has successfully convinced to invest in his businesses.”
You can read the lawsuit here:
According to federal court records, the case was dismissed in July 2017 on a jurisdictional challenge after questions arose as to whether Yohai primarily lives in California or New York. You can read that document here:
The court documents say that submitted evidence showed Yohai maintained two residences, in New York and California and conducted business in both states. He was born in New York and in 2015 founded Marin West, a Los Angeles real estate development, maintaining a California home there.
He lived there with his wife and daughter. According to court documents, “Yohai’s wife is a film maker whose company is located in California.” Yohai’s daughter was born in California and is enrolled in school there, the documents say. The court documents say that he owned five limited liability companies in California. However, he is registered to vote in New York and has a driver’s license there.
His New York home was owned by a company controlled by his wife and her family, according to the federal court documents.
The New York Times reported that Andrea Manafort had written in hacked text messages that Paul Manafort opposed Jessica’s marriage to Yohai, who had a journalism degree. He also appeared on a reality TV show called “Million Dollar Listing.”
4. Jessica Manafort Is a Hollywood Writer & Director
Jessica Manafort has tried to forge a career in Hollywood and has several films to her name.
IMDB, which refers to the Manafort daughter as Jess Manafort, reports, “Jessica Manafort was born on June 13, 1982 in Alexandria, Virginia where she grew up in the historic Mount Vernon district. She attended St. Mary’s Elementary School where she met and forged a lifelong friendship with fellow Liminality filmmaker, Caitlin Murphy. It was while attending, Mount Vernon High School that Jessica met the members of the band Over It who also appear in Liminality. In 2000, Jessica was accepted to the famed Tisch Film School of New York University after receiving a recommendation from the legendary director Martin Scorsese. She continued to excel at the craft of filmmaking at NYU and graduated in the Fall of 2004 with honors.”
She founded Mirror Cube Films in 2004 and describes herself as a writer, producer and director. The company’s website mentions three films: Remember the Daze; Liminality; and A Shore Thing
According to a profile on Jessica in Nylon Magazine, “Jess Manafort has a playful, whimsical manner, speaks charmingly about her close relationships with her family and friends, and laughs frequently and contagiously.” She graduated from New York University, and described for the magazine how she shot home videos growing up. The article discusses her film, Remember the Daze, saying it “follows the frolics and debauches of a group of mid-Atlantic suburban kids on the last day of high school.” The article says that, on the basis of her script for that film, she received a $100,000 grant from a prestigious Richard Vague Film Production Fund. She raised money from family and friends to finance the film.”
She graduated from New York University, and described for the magazine how she shot home videos growing up.
The article discusses her film, Remember the Daze, saying it “follows the frolics and debauches of a group of mid-Atlantic suburban kids on the last day of high school.” The article says that, on the basis of her script for that film, she received a $100,000 grant from a prestigious Richard Vague Film Production Fund. She raised money from family and friends to finance the film.
To Modern Luxury Magazine, she described the movie as “exactly what my life was like growing up in Virginia. It was easy living,” while adding, “My mom says I’ve been making movies since I was three. I was always doing big productions with the neighborhood kids. Both my parents are lawyers, so I’m the oddball in the family.” She also described receiving a positive letter about her film from Scorcese.
5. Andrea Manafort Is a Married Lawyer
Andrea Manafort Shand’s LinkedIn page says she is an associate general counsel at Fort L.P. in Washington D.C., a position she has held since October 2016.
She was previously an associate for the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates and a summer associate at Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP. She was a legal intern for ASCAP in New York and a public relations assistant for DKC.
She received her law degree from Georgetown, where she was administrative editor for the Georgtown International Environmental Law Review, GULC Student Ambassador and member of GEMALaw and Corporate Law societies.
She received a bachelor’s degree in public relations, advertising and applied communications from the University of South Carolina – Columbia in 2007, in which she was on the Dean’s List and the National Scholars Honor Society.
According to American Lawyer, the Paul Manafort allegations have propelled some to more closely examine previous work that the Skadden law firm did in Ukraine.
Andrea “married her husband Christopher Shand, an HR manager for a restaurant chain, in their native Washington D.C.’s St Regis hotel in May 2015,” reports UK Daily Mail.
Wedding Style Magazine covered the wedding at the St. Regis in Washington D.C. An accompanying profile of the couple says, “Andrea Manafort had a crush on Christopher Shand since the first time she met him. He was acting in a film that Andrea’s sister wrote and directed and it was at the movie’s premiere where they were introduced.”
The magazine reported that Christopher proposed to Andrea “on Andrea’s birthday while friends and family were gathered at her parent’s home in the Hamptons. It was where they had shared their first kiss and her grandparents would be there.” He told the magazine, “In our opinion, they are the epitome of what marriage should be.” The wedding paid “homage” to Andrea’s Italian heritage, the magazine reported.