Trump Ex-Campaign Chair Received Millions From Trump-Tied Business
- Author: Leroy Wright Apr 25, 2017,
Apr 25, 2017, 20:18
On Wednesday, Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort announced that he will register with the Justice Department as a foreign agent for the lobbying he did on behalf of a political party in Ukraine. The resignation came after a tumultuous week in which The New York Times revealed that Manafort's name appeared in the Ukraine ledger - although the newspaper said at the time that officials were unsure whether Manafort actually received the money - and after the AP separately reported that he had orchestrated a covert Washington lobbying operation until 2014 on behalf of Ukraine's pro-Russian Party of Regions.
As of this writing, there are no reports that Trump was aware of Manafort's foreign ties before he hired him as part of his presidential campaign.
As Rachel noted on last night's show, these developments coincide with the fact that Manafort received secret money from Putin's allies in Ukraine - payments he used to deny the existence of - which were reportedly routed through shell companies.
The AP identified in the records two payments received by Manafort that aligned with the ledger: one for $750,000 that a Ukrainian lawmaker said last month should be investigated by US authorities.
Paul Manafort's decision to register comes amid investigations by the FBI and Congress into the Trump campaign's contacts with Russian Federation.
Manafort through a spokesman called the story "totally misleading and incorrect", according to CBS, and Manafort told the AP they were "legitimate payments" for consulting work. Last month former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn registered work that "could be construed to have principally benefited the Republic of Turkey", which was conducted as he was advising the Trump campaign.
Last August, a handwritten ledger surfaced in Ukraine with dollar amounts and dates next to the name of Paul Manafort, who was then Donald Trump's campaign chairman.
By registering retroactively, Manafort will now have to publicly provide specific details of his work as foreign agent.
In late March, Serhiy Leshchenko, a Ukrainian member of parliament, revealed documents he said prove Manafort tried to hide payments from Yanukovych and presented a contract showing a $750,000 payment for computers made between Manafort and a shell company registered in Belize.
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.
KIM: Manafort, who also once worked for a Kremlin-connected Russian tycoon, was the first Trump adviser forced to sever connections because of his links to Moscow.
Manafort had previously insisted that the logbook was a fake. Manafort is not the subject of any investigation by the Ukrainian authorities. Manafort denies any wrongdoing.
The basic upshot is that the law enables the government to identify and keep a registry of Americans who're actively serving the interests of foreign powers.