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Manafort resigns as lawyer before Connecticut bar hearing

Paul Manafort arrives for a hearing at US District Court on June 15, 2018 in Washington, DC. - A judge revoked Manafort's bail and sent him to jail over claims he was tampering with witnesses in the case against him brought by special counsel Robert Mueller. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)(getty)

HARTFORD  — Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, submitted his resignation Wednesday as a lawyer in Connecticut in advance of a state disbarment hearing.

Manafort’s lawyers filed the document in Hartford Superior Court announcing his resignation from the Connecticut bar. He was admitted to the state bar in 1974, but never had a law office in Connecticut and has no clients in the state.

A hearing on potential disbarment is scheduled for Tuesday in the Hartford court. A state judge has to approve Manafort’s resignation.

“I hereby seek to resign from the practice of law in the State of Connecticut without the ability to seek reinstatement at any time in the future,” Manafort said, according to an affidavit he signed that was submitted to the court.

“Because of my incarceration I am unable to appear in court and answer any questions the Court may have as to this Resignation.”

The state Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel cited as evidence of attorney misconduct Manafort’s guilty pleas in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Manafort was among the first Americans charged in Mueller’s investigation and has pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges in Washington. He is being detained as he also faces sentencing in a separate case in Virginia. A new court filing also says Manafort shared polling data during the 2016 presidential campaign with a business associate accused of having ties to Russian intelligence, and prosecutors say he lied to them about it.

Frederic Ury, a Fairfield-based lawyer for Manafort, said Thursday that Manafort resigned from the bar because he “made up his mind that it did not make any sense to waste any assets of the state or himself to contest it.”

Manafort also is a member of the bar of the District of Columbia, but he said he has never practiced law there either.

Manafort also faces a separate but similar grievance submitted to Connecticut officials who handle complaints against lawyers. The grievance was filed by Massachusetts lawyer J. Whitfield Larrabee, who has filed similar complaints seeking disbarment of Trump administration officials including former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Ury said he expects the grievance case to be dismissed because of Manafort’s resignation from the bar.

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