Paul Manafort offered to provide information on the race to Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, who has ties to the Kremlin, just two weeks before Trump accepted the Republican nomination.Manafort, who was former campaign manager for President Trump, originally sent an email proposing to share information to an overseas intermediary, requesting that Deripaska receive the message. Deripaska is a aluminum magnate and had conducted business previously with Manafort, according to the Washington Post."If he needs private briefings we can accommodate," Manafort wrote in the July 7, 2016 in an email read to the Washington Post.A report on Monday said that Manafort, who has been entangled in an FBI investigation, had been wiretapped by the U.S. government during and after the 2016 campaign.The recordings retrieved from the wiretapping have been handed over to special counsel Robert Mueller, who is heading up the federal investigation into Russia interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin, according to a CBS News report.There is no evidence yet of whether the documents that Deripaska received or accepted Manafort's offer.Even so, investigators believe this indicates Manafort's eagerness to benefit from his position in the campaign created a connection for Russian interests at the top of the Trump team.Documents revealed there were exchanges between Manafort and a Kiev-based employee from his international political consulting practice that discussed money that Manafort thought Eastern European clients owed him.The notes appear to be deliberately vague and do not mention Deripaska by name, however, investigators believe that key passages reference him by using his initials "OVD.""It is no secret Mr. Manafort was owed money by past clients after his work ended in 2014. This exchange is innocuous," Manafort's spokesperson Jason Maloni told the Washington Examiner.
Sources close to Manafort say this is from the same tranche of emails that included the one from George Papadopoulos, Trump's former campaign policy adviser, where Manafort rejected an offer of a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.Mueller's team has taken a particular interest in Manafort and has investigated more than 10 years of his actions. Mueller has told Manafort his team intends to charge him with possible tax and financial crimes.