Manafort Removed From Miami Plane Bound For Dubai

on May 23, 2018 in Washington, DC.
Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort arrives for a hearing at the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse on May 23, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
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Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was blocked from traveling to Dubai on Sunday, after Customs and Border Protection found that he had an invalid passport.

Miami-Dade Police Detective Albaro Zabaleta told TPM that Manafort had been blocked from traveling on an Emirates Airlines flight to Dubai, emphasizing that CBP, and not local police, handled it.

It’s not entirely clear why Manafort was blocked from leaving the country.

KNewz, which first reported the story, said that Manafort’s passport had been revoked. The Miami detective told TPM that his passport had expired.

The AP cited unnamed officials as saying that Manafort was removed from the flight for having a revoked passport.

CBP did not immediately return a request for comment.

Manafort was convicted on eight counts of bank and tax fraud in an August 2018 trial in the Eastern District of Virginia. After briefly agreeing to cooperate with D.C. federal prosecutors in Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, Manafort reneged on the deal. His guilty pleas to conspiracy and witness tampering, combined with the fraud convictions, left Manafort sentenced to 7.5 years in prison.

President Trump pardoned Manafort in December 2020, though he had been under home confinement since May 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Manafort had to surrender his three passports in November 2017, after his first indictment. Prosecutors said at the time that each passport had a different identification number, and that Manafort had submitted 10 passport applications in as many years.

The former Trump campaign chairman spent decades running a global political consulting business, often advising figures at odds with U.S. foreign policy goals.

That list included Jonas Savimbi, the 1980s Angola rebel leader, Iraqi Kurdish leaders trying to hold an independence referendum and, most famously, Viktor Yanukovych, the former president of Ukraine who was deposed after refusing to sign an association agreement with the European Union.

Manafort suggested on a podcast last week that he was considering a return to the international political consulting business that he ran before his 2017 indictment and conviction the following year on bank and tax fraud charges.

“I may activate myself somewhat in the next couple months,” he told radio host Frank Morano.

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