Connecticut Judge Accepts Manafort’s Resignation

Paul Manafort, left, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, and his wife, Kathleen Manafort, arrive at the federal courthouse in Alexandria, Va., on March 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

HARTFORD, Ct. (CN) — Still embroiled in the Russia investigation after a plea deal and a federal conviction, Paul Manafort managed in Connecticut at least Tuesday to resign from the Connecticut Bar with little fanfare.

The former chairman of President Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign submitted his resignation last week ahead of what was to be a disbarment hearing this afternoon in Hartford Superior Court.

Noting that his client has been in lockup since June, defense attorney Frederick Ury told Judge David Sheridan that they made sure to make Manafort’s affidavit as informative as possible since the 69-year-old would not be able to attend the hearing in person

Manafort, who was admitted to the Connecticut bar in 1974, stipulated in his filing that he would waive the right to seek reinstatement.

“He was clearly aware of the consequences of making his resignation,” Sheridan said. 

Sheridan also “administratively dismissed” the other pending grievance against Manafort, who has no law practice, office or clients in either Connecticut or the District of Columbia, where he is also a member of the bar and was recently suspended on an interim basis. 

J. Whitfield Larabee, an attorney in Massachusetts, filed a grievance against Manafort that essentially made the same complaints that lead to his conviction. 

“Manafort’s license to practice law in Connecticut aids him in pursuing unethical and illegal activities by cloaking him with the prestige of the legal profession,” Larrabee wrote in the 2017 complaint. “In order to maintain the integrity of the legal profession, it is necessary to revoke his license to practice law.” 

Elizabeth Rowe, an attorney for the Connecticut Statewide Grievance Committee, said it was essentially a “citizen complaint.” 

Convicted by a federal jury in Virginia on eight counts of bank and tax fraud, Manafort has been incarcerated in the Alexandria Detention Center while he awaits sentencing. 

Special Counsel Robert Mueller had made Manafort and his former associate Rick Gates two of his earliest targets in the the investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election, and Manafort also pleaded guilty in Washington to conspiracy against the U.S. and conspiracy to obstruct justice. 

Though Manafort agreed to cooperate with Mueller’s ongoing investigation as part of his plea deal, prosecutors accused the ex-lobbyist in November of deceiving them. 

Defense attorney Kevin Downing shed light on Mueller’s allegations for the first time last week in a brief filed as part of those proceedings. Because of improper redactions, the brief revealed that Mueller has accused Manafort of sharing polling data about the Trump campaign during the 2016 election with accused Russian spy Konstantin Kilimnik.

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