Former Trump Campaign Chairman Under Investigation for Business Ties to Ukraine

Cheryl Sanders
April 16, 2017

But Trump's puzzling affection for Russian dictator Vladimir Putin - and Putin's subsequent efforts to intervene in the United States presidential campaign on Trump's behalf - cast Manafort's work in a somewhat different light. NBC News reports that Manafort's spokesperson refused to say whether he was or wasn't, but that he'll be taking "appropriate steps".

The AP reported recently that in 2006, Manafort signed a contract calling for payments of $10 million per year from a Russian billionaire in return for political consulting and for promoting the Kremlin's interests.

Manafort is expected to register with the Justice Department as a foreign agent representing Ukraine's interests between 2012 and 2014, the sources said. Manafort resigned from the Trump campaign shortly after that news came out.

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. Manafort will be joining Michael Flynn as another former Trump advisor turned foreign agent due to Russian ties. The bureau said it wasnt investigating Manafort because he is not a Ukrainian citizen. Manafort's spokesperson said his plan to register and his work with Russian Federation preceded his position with Trump's 2016 presidential campaign. Manafort is the second Trump aide to register as a foreign agent.

The AP verified on Wednesday that Manafort received at least $1.2 million of a suspected $12.7 million in off-the-books payments from Yanukovych's political party while the Russia-allied leader was still in power. The Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), requires that "agents of foreign principals in a political or quasi-political capacity" disclose their relationship with a foreign government, as well as "activities, receipts and disbursements" in support of those activities. In doing so, it acknowledged that its work at the time could have principally benefited the Ukrainian government. Manafort declined to comment to NPR, saying only that he hopes Ukrainian investigators will look into an apparent attempt to blackmail him with compromising material.

By registering retroactively, Manafort will now have to publicly provide specific details of his work as foreign agent. In February the Times reported that Manafort was once of the Trump campaign officials whose contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials are being examined by us intelligence. Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni confirmed Manafort's intention of registering as a foreign agent.

The news agency provided to Manafort the amounts of the payments, dates and number of the bank account where they were received.

They also shine a light on the rich real estate portfolio that Mr. Manafort acquired during and after the years he worked in Ukraine. "On the face of his own words, the payments were not "cash" and were not 'illegal'".

Leshchenko said US authorities should investigate what he described as corrupt deals between Manafort and Yanukovych.

Other reports by iNewsToday