Paul Manafort Returns to Advise Republican National Convention

Paul Manafort, Trump’s Former Campaign Chairman, Returns to the Republican Arena

Paul Manafort Back in the Political Arena

Paul Manafort, a seasoned Republican strategist, has returned to political advising for the Republican National Convention. Manafort, Trump’s 2016 campaign chairman, has a history of staving off efforts to thwart his nomination at conventions. He was also imprisoned and later pardoned by Mr. Trump.

For decades, Manafort has worked as a lobbyist with foreign governments. He has a significant track record with past Republican conventions. Therefore, his presence at meetings in Milwaukee last week, where the July convention will take place, was no surprise to insiders, according to two individuals briefed on the matter.

Controversy Surrounds Manafort’s Return

Manafort’s involvement with the convention has been anticipated for weeks. However, his return to the political scene, even in an unpaid capacity, has already stirred controversy. With a career spanning back to advising Bob Dole’s presidential campaign in 1996, Manafort’s expertise is undeniable. Yet, his ties to foreign interests have often shadowed his professional accomplishments.

In 2016, Manafort was ousted from Mr. Trump’s campaign, partly due to his work for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine. His involvement with Russian officials during the Trump campaign later led to an investigation by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. Manafort was one of the few Trump advisers sentenced to prison, only to be pardoned by Mr. Trump at the end of his term. Recently, The Washington Post reported that Manafort has resumed work for foreign interests, including a Chinese entertainment streaming service.

Manafort’s Role at the Convention

Manafort’s exact role for this convention remains unclear. He is expected to advise on the staffing structure of the platform committee. However, he is not supposed to be involved in the substance of the platform itself. For example, he will not be part of the decision-making process for the party platform, which is of significant importance this year. In 2020, due to changes brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, the Republican Party simply reverted to the 2016 platform.

During the last convention, a controversy emerged over a change in the platform’s language. The change diluted the support for Ukraine against Russian incursions. This issue was among those investigated by Mr. Mueller.

As Manafort re-engages in the political landscape, speculation and anticipation continue to build around his role in the upcoming convention. His return is a testament to the dynamic and often unpredictable nature of global politics.