Manafort was a principal at the lobbying firm Black, Manafort, Stone, and Kelly (along with another top Trump ally, Nixon alum Roger Stone) a K Street powerhouse with close ties to the Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations, as well as top Republicans on Capitol Hill.
But over the years, they made millions by representing a rogue’s gallery of clients far away from D.C.’s genteel corridors of power: dictators, guerilla groups, and despots with no regard for human rights—including one man responsible for mass amputations, and another who oversaw state-sanctioned rape.
One such client was Jonas Savimbi, who led a guerilla army trying to wrest control of the Angolan government from Marxists during the country’s brutal civil war. Savimbi hired Manafort’s lobbying firm to help him get financial support from the U.S. government for his guerilla army, UNITA (National Union for the Total Independence of Angola).
And Manafort and co. delivered.