Trump Adviser To Register After Lobbying For Pro-Russia Ukrainian Leader

Posted April 20, 2017

Even though former Trump campaign chairman and foreign agent Paul Manafort resigned from the president's team past year, his financial connections to Donald Trump were far from over.

Manafort's lobbying for a foreign client ended before he began working on Trump's presidential campaign "and was not conducted on behalf of the Russian government", spokesman Jason Maloni said in a statement.

Manafort worked as an worldwide political consultant for a pro-Russia party in Ukraine.

That wasn't conclusive evidence that Manafort received any payments listed on the ledger.

That's according to the Associated Press, who also reported that they had confirmed payments between Ukranian officials and Manafort's consulting firm, Davis Manafort.

When questioned about the payments by the AP, Manafort did not deny that his firm received them. Manafort is expected to register with the Justice Department as a foreign agent representing Ukraine's interests between 2012 and 2014, the sources said. Documents they obtained detailed wire transfers and political strategy memos written by Manafort in 2005 to influence US politics, business and news coverage in favour of Putin.

Back in August, the AP reported that Manafort oversaw lobbying work that could have benefited the Ukrainian government. Under Manafort, the Republican platform changed in ways that seemed to align with Manafort's work in Ukraine.

Prior to his time on the Trump campaign team, from 2010 to 2014, Manafort worked on behalf of European Centre for a Modern Ukraine, a group for former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. But what exactly is a foreign agent, and what will that designation mean for Manafort?

What's next: Ukrainian officials have been investigating Manafort's involvement with Yanukovych, particularly after he was ousted as president in 2014 and fled to Russian Federation, which is also when Ukrainian assets were stolen.

"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.

Additionally, The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had sought and obtained a warrant from a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to monitor Carter Page, another former Trump campaign adviser, to investigate whether he was acting as a foreign intelligence asset of the Russian government.

On Tuesday, Manafort called the invoice a fraud. “The signature is not mine, and I didnt sell computers, ” Manafort said, noting that he believes people are taking “disparate pieces of information and distorting their significance through a campaign of smear and innuendo.”. Such registrations are necessary for activities that involve influencing policy and public opinion in the United States, and some of Mr. Manafort's Ukraine work appeared to fall into that category ...

Associated Press writers Nataliya Vasilyeva contributed reporting from Kiev and Moscow, and Lynn Berry from Washington.