“Manafort’s firm top five lobbying firms receiving money from human-rights abusing regimes”
“He was an adviser to the presidential campaigns of Republicans Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bob Dole, and was the national chairman of the presidential campaign of Donald Trump, as well as being a senior partner in the firm Davis, Manafort, and Freedman.
In 1976, Manafort was the delegate-hunt coordinator for eight states for the President Ford Committee; the overall Ford delegate operation was run by James A. Baker III. Between 1978 and 1980, Manafort was the southern coordinator for Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign, and the deputy political director at the Republican National Committee. After Reagan’s election in November 1980, he was appointed Associate Director of the Presidential Personnel Office at the White House. In 1981 he was nominated to the Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.
Association with Jonas Savimbi
In 1985, Manafort’s firm, BMSK, signed a $600,000 contract with Jonas Savimbi, the leader of the Angolan rebel group UNITA, to refurbish Savimbi’s image in Washington and secure financial support on the basis of his anti-communism. BMSK arranged for Savimbi to attend events at the American Enterprise Institute (where Jeane Kirkpatrick gave him a laudatory introduction), the Heritage Foundation, and Freedom House; in the wake of the campaign Congress approved hundreds of millions of dollars in covert American aid to Savimbi’s group. Allegedly, Manafort’s continuing lobbying efforts helped preserve the flow of money to Savimbi several years after the Soviet Union ceased its involvement in the Angolan conflict, forestalling peace talks.
Lobbying for other foreign leaders
Manafort’s firm, BMSK, accepted $950,000 yearly to lobby for Ferdinand Marcos. He was also involved in lobbying for Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaïre, securing a 1 million dollar annual contract in 1989, and attempted to recruit Siad Barre of Somalia as a client. His firm also lobbied on behalf of the governments of the Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya (earning between $660,000 and $750,000 each year between 1991 and 1993), and Nigeria ($1 million in 1991). These activities led Manafort’s firm to be listed amongst the top five lobbying firms receiving money from human-rights abusing regimes in the Center for Public Integrity report “The Torturer’s Lobby”.
Manafort’s firm received a $326,000 fee for its work in getting HUD approval of the grant largely through personal influence with Deborah Gore Dean, an executive assistant to former HUD Secretary Samuel R. Pierce, Jr.
“The New York Times reported that the Ukrainian government is investigating whether the previous regime headed by Manafort’s now-deposed client, Viktor Yanukovych, paid the advisor over $12 million in cash stolen from taxpayers.”
In 2007 and 2008 Manafort was involved in investment projects with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska (the acquisition of a Ukrainian telecoms company) and Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash (redevelopment of the site of the former Drake Hotel in New York City).”