The defense team of Paul Manafort, the former manager of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, provided the reasoned explanation why he held three passports and used the cell phone, registered on someone else’s name. Bloomberg reported that with the reference to Manafort’s lawyers.
‘They (the defense team, - 112 International) said Manafort traveled to China and elsewhere with a phone registered to an alias - his brother’s name - because he wanted to maintain confidentiality while working as a political consultant to high-profile clients (…) 'It is common practice for many U.S. citizens who travel abroad on business and pleasure to defend themselves against potential hacking, and confiscation, of their electronic devices and data', Manafort’s lawyers wrote in the filing in federal court in Washington. This doesn’t show a 'heightened potential for risk of flight,' they said’, the outlet wrote.
The lawyers added that Manafort had one passport for traveling and another one for ‘to submit with visa applications to certain foreign countries’. According to lawyers Kevin Downing and Thomas Zehnle, he lost his original passport and received the third ID before eventually having found the original passport – which he reported at the U.S. Department of the State.
U.S. prosecutors believe that, by using the cell phone registered for a different name and several passports, Manafort might plan fleeing the country.
As 112 International reported, in Ukraine, Manafort worked as a political consultant for the infamously known ex-President Viktor Yanukovych. Among other things, he was helping the then president file a report which would justify the imprisonment of ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.
As it was reported earlier, the FBI is investigating whether Manafort and the consulting firms he led earned between $80 million and $100 million over a decade from pro-Moscow Ukrainian and Russian clients.
There has also been information that he received around $60 million from Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, laundering the money through his companies in Cyprus.