What Registering As A Foreign Agent Means For Trump's Former Advisers

Meanwhile former Trump adviser Carter Page has denied he himself served as a foreign agent, following reports that the Federal Bureau of Investigation obtained a warrant to monitor him during the campaign.

In September, Summerbreeze received a $3.5 million loan from Spruce Capital. The company's co-founder, Joshua Crane, has been a developer of some of Trump's hotel projects. It's a headline-grabbing development to be sure, especially amid multiple investigations (by the House, the Senate, and the FBI) into allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation, which Trump and his advisers have denied. Both loans were reportedly unusual for the lending firms.

Collateral for the Federal Savings Bank loan included a summer home in the Hamptons owned by Manafort and valued at more than $11 million.

"There is nothing out of the ordinary about them and I am confident anyone who isn't afflicted with scandal fever will come to the same conclusion", Manafort told The Times.

"Manafort has always denied that he ever received any cash payments for his work and has consistently maintained that he received all of his payments, for services rendered, through wire transfers conducted through the global banking system", read the statement.

McClatchy reported on March 29 that the FBI, Justice Department and Treasury Department are investigating whether any of Manafort's consulting income in Ukraine was laundered from corrupt sources, whether he properly disclosed all his foreign bank accounts each year to the US government, whether he paid taxes on all foreign income and whether he registered as a foreign agent, according to two individuals familiar with the matter who spoke anonymously because the criminal inquiries are ongoing.

Manafort resigned as campaign manager in August 2016 amid a shakeup in the campaign staff of Donald Trump, who won the USA presidency three months later.

Lobbying firms tied to Manafort in his prior work for the political party of ousted Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych are in the process of registering with the Justice Department. Yanukovych subsequently sought exile in Russian Federation.

One of the lobbying groups that Manafort's firm worked with, the Podesta Group, filed a foreign agent registration Wednesday. The Ukrainian investigators recovered handwritten papers, also known as the "black ledger", from the office of former ruling party. But they have previously noted that they have no way of knowing whether Manafort received the money listed next to his name.

According to his spokesman, Jason Maloni, Manafort has received "formal guidance recently from the authorities", which may convince him to register as a foreign agent for past work. Documents they obtained detailed wire transfers and political strategy memos written by Manafort in 2005 to influence USA politics, business and news coverage in favour of Putin. The revelations regarding his recent transactions raise a number of questions, including whether his decision to turn to Trump-connected lenders was related to his role in the campaign. He is alleged to have contacted Russian officials during the 2016 campaign.

Payments for Manafort's work in Eastern Europe are unrelated to the ongoing investigations.

Manafort has denied any impropriety and has volunteered to be interviewed by the House intelligence committee.

  • Salvatore Jensen