When it rains it pours. Such is the case for Donald Trump and his teams’ ties to Russia. While Congress is slugging it out in hearings, more and deeper connections seem to come to light every single day, which is certainly the case with a story that broke recently from the Washington Post.
The latest connects former Trump aide Paul Manafort deeply to disgraced former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych with a money trail, according to newly obtained financial documents that shows former campaign chairman for Donald Trump laundered payments from the party of a disgraced ex-leader of Ukraine using offshore accounts in Belize and Kyrgyzstan, which are connected to Moscow.
From the Washington Post:
The new documents, if legitimate, stem from business ties between the Trump aide, Paul Manafort, and the party of former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, who enjoyed Moscow’s backing while he was in power. He has been in hiding in Russia since being overthrown by pro-Western protesters in 2014, and is wanted in Ukraine on corruption charges.
The latest documents were released just hours after the House Intelligence Committee questioned FBI Director James B. Comey about possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Moscow. The hearing that also touched on Manafort’s work for Yanukovych’s party in Ukraine.
Manafort, you may recall, resigned from the Trump campaign last August after it was revealed he received secret payments of $12.7 million by Yanukovych’s party, the Party of Regions. What you may not know is that Manafort worked for the party for nearly a decade.
Serhiy Leshchenko is the name of the lawmaker and journalist who released a copy of an invoice on letterhead from Manafort’s consulting company dated Oct. 14, 2009, which was issued to a Belize-based company for $750,000 for the sale of 501 computers.
On the very same day, Manafort’s name is listed next to a $750,000 entry in the “black ledger,” which was considered a party slush fund.
Leshchenko says that Manafort issued a falsified invoice to the Belize company to cover his tracks for the the $750,000 he paid himself.
The Post continued saying:
Manafort was involved in crafting the political strategy that brought Yanukovych to power after a crushing defeat in the 2004 elections. Yanukovych’s party has been accused of ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, particularly through wealthy oligarchs from the country’s east with interests in both Russia and Ukraine.
UPDATE: AP Reports,
President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman is registering as a foreign agent.
Paul Manafort’s spokesman says he was in talks with the government about registering before the 2016 election and is now “taking appropriate steps” in response to “formal guidance” from the government.
The spokesman says Manafort’s lobbying work was not conducted on behalf of the Russian government and began before Manafort started working with the Trump campaign.
It’s unclear whether Trump was aware that Manafort was in talks with the government about registering before he hired him.
The White House is downplaying the size of Manafort’s role in the Trump campaign, because of course they are. But, we’re not buying it. They’re just trying to distance themselves from these obvious Russian ties that are sooner or later going to lead to Trump’s downfall. Hopefully sooner.