Donald Trump’s presidential campaign woes have gotten bigger as his campaign manager Paul Manafort’s name has turned up in a ledger of illegal payments that were made by a network in Putin’s sphere of influence in Ukraine.
The New York Times reported:
Handwritten ledgers show $12.7 million in undisclosed cash payments designated for Mr. Manafort from Mr. Yanukovych’s pro-Russian political party from 2007 to 2012, according to Ukraine’s newly formed National Anti-Corruption Bureau. Investigators assert that the disbursements were part of an illegal off-the-books system whose recipients also included election officials.
In addition, criminal prosecutors are investigating a group of offshore shell companies that helped members of Mr. Yanukovych’s inner circle finance their lavish lifestyles, including a palatial presidential residence with a private zoo, golf course and tennis court. Among the hundreds of murky transactions these companies engaged in was an $18 million deal to sell Ukrainian cable television assets to a partnership put together by Mr. Manafort and a Russian oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, a close ally of President Vladimir V. Putin.
Anti-corruption officials there say the payments earmarked for Mr. Manafort, previously unreported, are a focus of their investigation, though they have yet to determine if he actually received the cash. While Mr. Manafort is not a target in the separate inquiry of offshore activities, prosecutors say he must have realized the implications of his financial dealings.
Trump’s campaign manager’s name appeared in an illegal off the books ledger that came from a system where Russia strongman Putin exerts an overwhelming influence. Donald Trump’s campaign was already reeling, but this news is another step towards confirmation that despite his tough talk, Donald Trump is a chosen puppet of Putin.
Suspicion was already growing that Putin was attempting to manipulate the US presidential campaign through Trump, and this report, which is rumored to be the tip of the iceberg as a series of upcoming stories are going to shed a great deal of light on the ties between Trump’s presidential campaign and Putin.
The Republican Party has a whole new set of problems thanks to Donald Trump. The man that the Republicans handed their presidential nomination to is this close to being outed as a puppet for an adversarial foreign country. The election was already going badly for the GOP, but this story is about to make things a whole lot worse.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association