A second former Trump campaign official registers as a foreign agent
- Author: Leroy Wright Apr 13, 2017,
Apr 13, 2017, 15:18
U.S. President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman will register as a foreign agent for lobbying work he did on behalf of pro-Russia political interests in Ukraine, his spokesman said on April 12.
If he files, Manafort would become the second former senior Trump adviser in recent weeks to retroactively acknowledge the need to disclose foreign work.
Michael Flynn, who was sacked as White House national security adviser in February, has also had to register as a foreign agent for lobbying work he did with ties to Turkey.
Manafort's spokesman, Jason Maloni, said he will register with the Justice Department after receiving "formal guidance recently from the authorities" regarding his years of work for Ukrainian politicians.
Yanukovych was also Manafort's main client, and some Ukrainian officials think the payments indicate evidence of a corruption scandal between Yanukovych's party and various clients of Manafort's firm. Intelligence officials say Russian officials sought to help elect Trump, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation is probing any possible coordination between Moscow and his campaign.
Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni said his lobbying for ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych's party between 2012 and 2014 was not done on behalf of Russian Federation. "The work in question was widely known", Maloni said.
He said Manafort had never been paid in cash.
"I invoiced my clients and they paid via wire transfer, which I received through a US bank", Manafort added, noting he agreed to payments according to his "clients' preferred financial institutions and instructions". There's no telling whether things will go, but between the Ukrainian and FBI investigations, Manafort's financial disclosures and ties to Russian Federation will continue to be under scrutiny.
Manafort's firm did consulting work for a not-for-profit called European Centre for a Modern Ukraine, which was closely tied to Yankuovych's Party of Regions, sources tell CNN. The AP also reports that the payments were "received by [Manafort's] consulting firm in the United States" via wire transfer from companies that were registered in Belize, details which indicate that Manafort's earlier denial of the Times allegations may have gotten cute about the literal definition of "cash" and/or "I".
Manafort worked on Trump's campaign for almost five months in 2016, and led the campaign for about three months.
The Justice Department declined to comment.