Trump election campaign manager cited in French probe into illegal political funding

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Donald Trump’s election campaign manager Paul Manafort is suspected by a French judicial investigation of having signed a fake contract with Paris-based arms dealer Ziad Takieddine to help the latter hide the real origin of cash seized by customs officers which he had smuggled into France from Switzerland. The incident occurred at the height of what has become known as the “Karachi Affair”, involving suspected illegal funding of former French prime minister Édouard Balladur’s 1995 presidential election campaign. Manafort is also suspected by the investigation of having invoiced the Balladur camp for unnecessary opinion polls during the campaign. Karl Laske and Fabrice Arfi report.  

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Political consultant and lobbyist Paul Manafort, 67, who was earlier this year appointed as manager of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, has a long CV of serving political heavyweights and controversial foreign leaders. Along his path as a political advisor, he worked with the presidential campaigns of Gerald Ford in 1976, Ronald Reagan in 1980 and George H.W. Bush in 1988.