Paul Manafort Prevented from Flying to Dubai

As Knewz first reported and AP has now matched, Paul Manafort was pulled from a flight to Dubai on Sunday because his passport was revoked.

Former Trump adviser Paul Manafort was removed from a plane at Miami International Airport before it took off for Dubai because he carried a revoked passport, officials said Wednesday.

Miami-Dade Police Detective Alvaro Zabaleta confirmed that Manafort was removed from the Emirates Airline flight without incident Sunday night but directed further questions to U.S. Border and Customs Protection. That agency did not immediately respond to an email Wednesday seeking comment.

A lawyer who has represented Manafort did not immediately return a call and email seeking comment Wednesday.

As a reminder, Manafort’s pardon did not include his actions in an August 2, 2016 meeting with alleged Russian spy Konstanin Kilimnik, at which he seemingly traded his strategy to win the election for $19 million in financial benefit and a commitment to help carve up Ukraine.

Nor was Manafort pardoned for his efforts, which continued at least until he was arrested, to help Kilimnik carve up Ukraine to Russia’s liking.

Nor was Manafort pardoned for his role in all the influence-peddling that Rudy Giuliani was involved with in Ukraine through 2020.

This was three days ago. The fact that Sean Hannity has not been wailing about the poor treatment of Manafort since suggests either that there’s not a good way to spin it, or that Manafort has some reason to want to keep this quiet.

Update: NBC’s Tom Winter says that, contrary to other reports, he was simply not permitted to board and that he can apply for a new passport. It’s not clear why he speaks of a “new investigation.”

72 replies
  1. Al Ostello says:

    Paul Manafort is an above board, upstanding citizen who stands for the rule of law…said no human ever.

    Manafort is a long time pal of Trump and a felon. Full stop.

  2. WilliamOckham says:

    When I first saw a story about this, it said his passport had expired. I found that ridiculous. No way Paul Manafort would try travel with an expired passport. Now that the AP says it was revoked (based on an LE source), the question is why? It seems like the most obvious answer for Manafort would be that the IRS asked for it to be revoked. They can do that for certain types of unpaid tax liabilities.

    • Peterr says:

      It could also be DOJ and DOD (and perhaps various intelligence agencies), given the investigation into his work with Kilimnik regarding Ukraine.

      I suspect there are a non-trivial number of passports with flags on them in that regard, should their holders attempt to leave the country right now.

    • WilliamOckham says:

      That’s right, the IRS testified in 2018 that Manafort owed a lot of money. And at least some of that debt is less than 10 years old, so that’s why his passport was revoked.

      • Fran of the North says:

        If this is accurate and upheld, cue the RW outrage and talking points:

        * Freedumb includes rights to travel, anywhere, anytime, anyhow.
        * Government has no right to revoke documents based upon status of IRS compliance.

        My heart bleeds…

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      There’s no way that Georgetown-trained lawyer lobbyist Paul Manafort did not know his passport had been revoked. One would think attempting to use it to do so would be a violation of the law.

    • BobCon says:

      There are endless posibilities. Maybe Fish and Wildlife found out he’s into more exotic wildlife clothing than just that ostrich skin jacket?

      Or it could also be child smuggling, intelligency agency concerns, suspicion of being in a drug mule scheme…. Probably more than worries that he’s planning on buying a 500 ml bottle of Serbian olive oil and sticking a label on it claiming it’s from Tuscany.

      • Anonymouse says:

        >a 500 ml bottle of Serbian olive oil and sticking a label on it claiming it’s from Tuscany.

        On a different note… this is actually going to be a thing of the past in the coming years. There are systems coming online that will make it cheap and easy to track lot numbers down to quantities all the way from farm to retail. It will significantly increase the ease of detecting such fraud.

    • emptywheel says:

      Tom Winter, who claims there’s no sign of a “new” investigation (which misunderstands pretty much everything) says the passport was simply leftover revoked from when he was a felon, suggesting that in the 14 months since his pardon, Manafort didn’t think to sort that all out.

      • WilliamOckham says:

        As best as I, a non-lawyer, can tell, getting pardoned for your tax crimes does not wipe out your tax debt. So, I’m sticking with my assumption that it’s the tax thing. Which Manafort should have known about (the IRS has to mail a form to your home address).

        • Raven Eye says:

          If I was going to put an example under the definition of “damning with faint praise”…

      • Marika says:

        This sounds plausible to me given that bureaucratic screw ups are not uncommon. However, one would think that someone like Paul Manafort with business outside the country would make sure that his passport was valid and not just assume it was when it was given back to him? I guess we will find out sooner or later.

    • Leoghann says:

      It appears we’re unanimous on this. As serial grifters and traitors go, Manafort is pretty-sorta savvy. Certainly sharp enough to just stumble unawares onto a plane to a non-extradition country with a 5-year-old revoked passport.

    • Fran of the North says:

      I was once ‘detained’ in the bowels of Pearson Airport for having had the temerity to be traveling within 6 months of the expiration of my passport. Something about ‘what if you stay here beyond expiration’ (which was 5+ months out).

      To make matters worse, I was there to attend and speak at a conference, and so that opened another concern that I might be taking jobs from the local citizenry. They finally had an official document typed up which I needed to carry at all times stating that I had explicit permission from INS (or whatever they call it) to be in country and that I was scheduled to depart 4 days hence.

    • Brumel says:

      IANAL but how can passport revocation take effect before the person has been notified and given a chance to appeal? Otherwise no citizen could ever be sure their passport is currently valid until they board a plane, which makes no sense.

  3. Silly but True says:

    By all appearances, this is administrative legacy of his Mueller conviction. Unless there is some hand the US doesn’t wish to yet show, Manafort with pardon in hand should be able to request administrative hearing to reinstate the passport. On the public record, he doesn’t anymore have any of the standard revocation reasons: The person has an outstanding arrest warrant for a felony, there is a court order preventing the person from leaving the U.S., or person is a convicted drug trafficker who used the passport to commit the crime.

    It’s a step that Manafort should have pursued at time of pardon, and just laziness especially for someone who travels as much as he did to not have taken the steps with State Dept. to have them reissued / revocation removed. Manafort appears to have just been sloppy and narcissistic to think he could just start traveling again without dotting the i’s.

  4. Rugger9 says:

    If Manafort wasn’t pardoned for the Ukraine-related activities, why hasn’t he been charged under FARA at least? I’d posted this news as an OT on the last thread, opining as well that Manafort would not be as safe as he thinks being closer to Putinistas and high windows. Since the Ukraine invasion is going badly, Putin needs to blame someone and Manafort is conveniently available. Manafort also (as far as I know) doesn’t have his wealth available since IIRC Mueller confiscated it making the Mueller investigation revenue neutral unlike the Benghazi and Durham investigations. OT, does anyone know if the Sussman’s dismissal ruling has been posted?

    Will this event affect Individual-1 and his henchmen, especially Rudy? That needs to be developed more deeply, whether by sleuthing or by Manafort getting interviewed by the feebs. Riffing off of the indomitable doctor above, where is the court record that would justify revoking the passport?

    • Peterr says:

      At a minimum, this should make Trump, Rudy, and Co. even more nervous. As Marcy notes, if Hannity couldn’t find a way to spin this in the last three days, that does not bode well for any of them.

        • Leoghann says:

          Although Judge Cooper said he was going to assume good faith about the disputed filing, he also pointed out to Durham, DeFilippis,, that they “have an audience of one” until a jury is empaneled. Seems to me that could be interpreted as a warning.

      • Troutwaxer says:

        Did anyone else notice this?

        “In fact, the indictment said, Sussmann was acting on behalf of the Clinton campaign, the tech executive Rodney Joffe, and the internet company Neustar.”

        How does Durham get this stuff? Did he just pull stuff out of Sussman’s billing records and record each and every person Sussman billed for work on that day? Which entity was Sussman actually working for, and does this ambiguity create reasonable doubt?

        • Scott Johnson says:

          There is some reference to billing records in the indictment, and IIRC there may be an allegation that the specific hours that Sussman met with the FBI general counsel, were hours billed to the Clinton Campaign. Why it is alleged that Sussman was simultaneously “representing” all three simultaneously (lawyers often have multiple clients simultaneously and are good at compartmentalizing their work; it’s part of the job) is another question.

          Of course, Sussman denies lying to the FBI on even this matter, even if the motion for dismissal is forced to treat the special prosecutor’s allegations as true and correct.

    • Molly Pitcher says:

      There is no question that Dubai is full of lots of former and potentially future pals of Manafort’s and that an extended stay there might have been his intention.

      There is another reason, or perhaps a convenient excuse for the trip. Saturday, March 26, is the running of one of the richest horse races in the world at Meydan Racecourse, home of the [US] $26.5 million Dubai World Cup.

      In the circles that he wanted to move in, attendance at this event was expected.

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        Did Manafort say he was going to attend the DWC? They have turned it into a pageant with more than a few rich purses, emulating championships in UK and US. I spend a lot of time in America’s horse racing world and don’t recall seeing Manafort pop up or hearing his name. But my memory retains horses better than con men.

  5. harpie says:

    12:53 PM · Mar 23, 2022

    Mo Brooks statement: Says Trump was manipulated by McConnell.

    ALSO says Trump “asked me to rescind the 2020 elections, immediately remove Joe Biden from the White House, immediately put President Trump back in the White House, and hold a new special election for the presidency.” [screenshot]

    • P J Evans says:

      Mo Brooks may not be the sharpest butterknife in the GOP drawer, but he’s shown he’s smarter than the former guy. Or at least has a better understanding of how elections don’t work.

      • Scott Johnson says:

        To me, this looks like a wiseguy who has just turned state’s evidence informing the mob that despite all of that, he remains utterly loyal to the family, and the violation of omerta was only due to closely-held ethical principles.

        • Leoghann says:

          That’s exactly my take. Mo Brooks is a guy who was such a strong supporter that he had Cheeto crumbs all down the front of his shirt. Now, suddenly, he says it’s time to “move on.” My guess is that he’s trying to play nice, having found out that the Jan 6 Committee and the DOJ has more on him than he previously thought, so he’s trying to prove he’s a totally rehabilitated insurrectionist. Like the dealer who puts D.A.R.E. bumper stickers on his cars.

  6. TooLoose LeTruck says:

    Well… given Manafort’s history of having multiple passports registered under different numbers, if one had been revoked you’d think Paulie would just use a different one…

    How do you even get three passports?

    I was reading ‘Strongmen’, Ruth Ben-Ghiat’s book about 20th century dictators, and who else would make an appearance in the section about Mobutu and Zaire but… Manafort, and of course Roger Stone, too…

    Did those two – Manafort and Stone – ever cross paths w/ a brutal, corrupt dictator that didn’t fall in love with?

    • rip says:

      I wonder how that would work at the TSA security checkpoint.
      TSA: Sir, your passport has been revoked. You cannot board.
      PM: Oh, darn. Here’s a different one that should work. If not I have others.

      I also wonder how the US would make sure PM wouldn’t make his way to Dubai (or other prime locations like Sochi) by hopping on a friend’s yacht in Miami and catching a private jet from an island nation that isn’t worried about these niceties.

      • TooLoose LeTruck says:

        That would be interesting, wouldn’t it?

        I would think having 3 different passports in the same name would be a red flag in the system…

        • Scott Johnson says:

          Does he have multiple nationalities?

          Unless he has nationalities other than US, or is a spook operating under the looser legal regime accorded to practitioners of statecraft, I would think having multiple United States passports would be kind of illegal, especially any that proclaim a false identity.

          • TooLoose LeTruck says:

            No, just multiple personalities…

            It’s my understanding that all three were American, in his name and registered under different numbers.

        • Village idiot says:

          Same name? I wonder if they were even for the same country? I guess it’s assumed, but there’s no shortage of rich folks with multiple citizenships

          • bidrec says:

            I worked 8 years at an airport in a small city with a large university. Many of the foreign students had multiple passports. When they showed up with a ticket that required a visa they would pull out a passport for the country they were visiting (going home to). America does not recognize dual (or more) citizenship but many countries do–like Greece.
            Also, as a veteran I served with foreign born Americans. When it was time to graduate high school in their country their American born parents would suggest they go to the local consulate and get a passport and then enlist in the US armed services. Boris Johnson was an American citizen until he renounced it to avoid paying income tax on the sale of a house in England.
            The Queen of England does not have a passport.
            A passport is not required for US military traveling to Okinawa so long as they do not transit other countries. There are other weird exceptions.

      • Peterr says:

        I think I’ve actually be through a version of that TSA screening you described.

        Back in the 1980s, 35 of my classmates and I were on a choir tour and we were going through Canada on our way from Michigan to Buffalo on the north side of Lake Erie. As we crossed into Canada, there was some kind of beef between the local US border folks and their Canadian counterparts, and so both sides were being real persnickity about all the rules. A Canadian border guard got on our bus and asked us to pull out our passports – a very uncommon thing at the time. (I told you this was in the 1980s, right?) Only one of us had one in hand (he was actually German), and so the choir director asked “What about a driver’s license?” “No,” said the guard, “I need something that proves your citizenship. A birth certificate would work, or a voter registration card.” From the back of the bus, one of my classmates shouted “A voter registration card? We’re from Chicago – how many would you like to see?”

        Everyone burst into laughter, including the guard. “OK,” he said, “Never mind the ID check. But I’ve got to hang out here on the bus with you for a while, so it looks like I’m hassling you.”

        • Scott Johnson says:

          My younger sister (as a child), while we returned from a family vacation that was partially spent in Canada, re-entered the United States using a grocery-store cookie club card as identification. (It was the 1980s, and Mom and Dad were the only ones in the car with any sort of official ID at all, just drivers’ licenses).

          • Ginevra diBenci says:

            Before September 11, 2001, I regularly took the shortcut through Ontario to get back to Michigan. The only “hassling” we ever got was border guards asking our citizenship and whether we had anything to declare. I miss that trip, although not so much the NY state thruway part.

        • mospeck says:

          what a treasure from a far away long time ago :) Peterr, I got the duty to report, to be persnickity I guess and fwd to my in-law relations who are Canadians from the north side of Chicago. No, you cannot make this stuff up, and yes, they will fall out of their chairs

    • CJ says:

      > How do you even get three passports?

      You can get multiple passports if you need to leave one with a consulate for visa processing but need to travel in the interim, or if you’re travelling somewhere that has a beef with somewhere else and objects to their putting stamps in your passport (though often the beefee will just stamp a piece of paper instead of your passport); see

      Manafort plausibly fits both those categories, so it’s not at all surprising he’d have more than one.

  7. I Never Lie and am Always Right says:

    If you owe more than $50K to the IRS, IRS will eventually refer you to State for revocation of your passport, unless you fall within certain statutory and administrative exceptions. These exceptions allow taxpayers who get on installment agreements, etc. to keep their passports.

    Once you are referred to State, it is up to State, not IRS, exactly what happens. In real life, the vast majority of taxpayers who are referred to State don’t lose their passports, if they already have them. Rather, hey won’t be able to renew their passport, if they have one, and they won’t be able to get one if they don’t have one.

    A modest percentage of those referred to State do lose their passports, however. IRS sends specific notices to taxpayers advising them of the referral to State for passport revocation. IRS refuses to send copies of these passport revocation letters to representatives of taxpayers who have a power of attorney to represent taxpayers before the IRS, and taxpayers don’t always open their mail from IRS. Thus, I have seen quite a few situations where taxpayers had been referred to State and were unaware that this had happened.

    Manafort almost certainly still owes $$ to IRS. There may even be a tax lien notice that has been filed against him somewhere that can be seen by the public with a bit of sleuthing. So I would not be completely surprised if his debt to IRS was the cause of the passport revocation. And if that is the case, there is a reasonable possibility that he was not aware that his passport had been revoked at the request of the IRS. It is also possible that he previously used the passport successfully, notwithstanding a referral by IRS to State, and then suddenly State yanked his passport without any advance notice.

    As long as there is someone in the IRS actively working to collect a specific unpaid tax liability, it is not that difficult for the taxpayer to get their passport back, if they are willing to “play ball” with the IRS. Playing ball typically requires the taxpayer to provide detailed financial disclosures to the IRS under penalty of perjury. Manafort may be reluctant to sign an IRS financial disclosure form under penalty of perjury

    • Leoghann says:

      I second what the Librul said. Thanks for educating us (me) on this topic.

      I guess a federal perjury charge is as good a way as any for one to restart their life of crime. That is, if he hasn’t already been indicted under seal.

    • vicks says:

      Knowing the last time he traveled out of the country could narrow some of the speculation.

      22 CFR § 51.60 – “Denial and restriction of passports” lists the legal issues that would restrict someone’s passport.
      If we are just spit-balling here, Manafort being the subject of a grand jury subpoena seems be the least nefarious option..
      I also learned there are a couple of ways you can legally buy a passport from another country

    • glenn storey says:

      Didn’t he just sell his Hampton property for $10 million or so? IANAL, but I’m a contractor, and I’ve placed a couple of liens on houses, and as far as I know, a sale of a house can’t be finalized until the lien is paid. So either PM owes a lot more than $10 million to the IRS [ a not unlikely possibility], or something else is afoot.

  8. harpie says:
    1:01 PM · Mar 23, 2022

    #SeditionHunters – it’s hours-old news by now, but just to remind everyone that Paul Manafort, the Trump/Ukraine fixer who just tried to flee to Dubai today [Sunday] (following last week’s exodus of oligarchs there)organized the January 6th rally at the Ellipse. 1/


    And another CORRECTION: updated link for the “VIP timeline” that includes Manafort’s long history of dirty tricks, in both the US and in Ukraine. All timelines and links to public resources, including video & databases, are at 9/

    • skua says:

      So felon PM is still a player.
      And very likely looking for a big deal that will make him whole.
      Is older now with less time left, a felon and probably increasingly desperate.
      A mark?

      • Leoghann says:

        “Hey, buddy, can I have another 19 million? Come on, you know I took care of you the last time.”

  9. Molly Pitcher says:

    From today’s Daily Beast:

    As I had said previously, Putin is not seeking a return to the Soviet Union, he wants to be the second coming of Peter the Great. There is an interesting story in Daily Beast today about the chummy relationship he has with the patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church. It discusses the alliance between the Church and State, referred to as ‘symphonia’.

    This is leading to schisms in the Orthodox Church between those who support the destruction of Ukraine and those who don’t.

    There is also an scary piece about what is seen by the author, A. Craig Copetas, as Putin’s Messiah complex. He interviews Fiona Hill and there a quotes from Navalny and from a television appearance this week by Patriarch Kirill.

    • P J Evans says:

      Peter the Great, whose empire was founded by Ivan the Terrible’s conquest of the Steppes.

    • MB says:

      Add to all this, one of Putin’s main role models in developing his “political philosophy” was Ivan Ilyin:

      (Ilyin was a prominent “monarchist” and Hitler-apologist during WW II, was expelled from Russia and then took up residence in Germany). One could almost draw a mostly-straight line from Peter the Great to Ivan Ilyin to Alexsandr Dugin and then into Putin’s ears.

  10. Mulder says:

    If it pleases the author, I’d like to suggest that heretofore Russian spy Konstantin Kilimnik be referred to as “Senate confirmed”.

  11. Frank Probst says:

    Was there ever a public accounting of just how much the government seized from him during the Mueller probe? Yes, he was pardoned, but by then, his bail had been forfeited (for witness tampering, I think), and once he was sentenced, I’d assume the government would come looking for their money (in fines and paybacks) that he owed. I would assume a Presidential pardon wipes the charges off of your record, but you don’t get any sort of compensation for the time that you were incarcerated, do you? And if that’s the case, does the government have to return any of the assets that it had already seized?

    (@bmaz, please check this–I may be assuming WAY too much as a non-lawyer.)

    As to the multiple passports issue, I’m pretty sure someone did a deep-dive into this when his passports were initially surrendered, and my recollection is that it is NOT illegal to have multiple passports in your own name. The reason was that business travelers very often have to send in their passports to get visas in order to travel, so they may need a “spare” (or two, in Manafort’s case). As long as they’re clearly HIS passports (i.e., they have his correct legal name and DOB), and the government knows he has more than one, it’s legal. Or so I thought. (And the rules for lost or stolen passports weren’t applicable since the “spares” were neither lost nor stolen. The were just making their way through the visa process somewhere.)

Comments are closed.