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What to know about Paul Manafort, his role in the Mueller Russia probe

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Paul Manafort was sentenced to 7 ½ years in prison as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

Here’s what you need to know about President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman.

He was born in 1949 in Connecticut. He graduated from Georgetown University in 1974. He practiced law at a private firm before going into politics. He advised Gerald Ford’s 1976 presidential campaign and established deep connections as a political lobbyist.

Manafort served as an international consultant for world leaders, including dictators Mobuto Sese Seko of DR Congo and Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines.

In 2004, he became an adviser to Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. Yanukovych was a pro-Russia strongman who was criticized for backing out of a deal with the EU. Riots broke out and protesters were killed. Yanukovych was ousted in 2014.

In March 2016, Trump hired Manafort to manage the RNC. He was eventually promoted to campaign chairman.

Reports came out about his work mixing politics and business in Ukraine. One report claimed that he was paid $10 million to lobby for Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, a close Putin ally. Manafort resigned from Trump’s campaign in August 2016. He was charged with secretly working to advance Russian interests.

In September 2018, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy and obstruction. He was also convicted of eight counts of tax and bank fraud in Virginia. New York state prosecutors have charged Manafort with 16 state felonies alleging he took part in a fraud scheme to illegally obtain millions of dollars.

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