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Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is in discussions to help with reelection effort

Former President Donald Trump’s team is in discussions with Paul Manafort, his 2016 campaign chairman whom he later pardoned, to potentially help with the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, three sources familiar with the ongoing conversations told CNN.

Manafort, who was one of several individuals who ran Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, was pardoned by Trump after being found guilty of several financial crimes in 2018.

One source indicated that Manafort would be helping with fundraising around the July convention but noted that no final decisions had been made.

Trump has told allies he wanted to bring Manafort back into the fold, but it was unclear in what capacity.

The Washington Post first reported Manafort’s potential involvement with Trump’s 2024 election effort.

Manafort spent close to two years of a 7.5-year sentence in prison for bank and tax fraud, illegal foreign lobbying and witness tampering conspiracies before being released in 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic, spending the remainder of his sentence under home confinement prior to his pardon.

The former Trump campaign staffer was found to have committed financial fraud in 2019. Those convictions were obtained by special counsel Robert Mueller as he investigated Manafort’s alleged collusion with the Russian government in 2016 – though Manafort’s crimes did not relate directly to his work as Trump’s 2016 campaign chairman.

As part of his plea deal with Mueller’s team, he agreed to cooperate with the prosecutors on the then-special counsel’s team – before lying during those interview sessions.

Manafort, a Reagan-era political operator, was largely credited with securing Trump the Republican nomination in 2016. His deep ties in the Republican establishment and tireless organizing to win the GOP delegate fight helped propel Trump over his primary rivals at the time.

But he was pushed aside months before the general election in favor of other Trump loyalists and amid reports of his financial connections to pro-Russia Ukrainian politicians. Even after resigning as chairman of Trump’s campaign, he was still involved with the former president’s transition to the White House, CNN reported at the time.

CNN’s Evan Perez, Katelyn Polantz and Dan Merica contributed to this report.

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