Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Russian To Judgment, Con't

As long suspected, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort officially admits now that he was taking money from a pro-Russian party in the Ukraine for two years, something he never officially disclosed when working for the Trump campaign.

Paul Manafort, who was forced out as President Trump’s campaign chairman last summer after five months of infighting and criticism about his business dealings with pro-Russian interests, disclosed Tuesday that his consulting firm had received more than $17 million over two years from a Ukrainian political party with links to the Kremlin.

The filing serves as a retroactive admission that Mr. Manafort performed work in the United States on behalf of a foreign power — Ukraine’s Party of Regions — without disclosing it at the time, as required by law
. The Party of Regions is the political base of former President Viktor F. Yanukovych, who fled to Russia during a popular uprising in 2014.

The disclosure hints at the vast fortunes available to top American political consultants plying their trade in other countries.

It was not immediately clear if Mr. Manafort would be required to pay any fines for the late filing. He has maintained that a majority of his work for Mr. Yanukovych was political consulting in Ukraine, where his firm, Davis Manafort International, operated an office at the time.

The Party of Regions employed Mr. Manafort to help rebrand Mr. Yanukovych and his party, which was long known as tilting toward Russia, as modernizers favoring closer ties to the European Union. All the work disclosed by Mr. Manafort on Tuesday predated Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign.

Mr. Manafort’s filing indicates that he was retained by the Party of Regions to help elect national and regional candidates in Ukraine and to liaise with American diplomats in Kiev, the capital, who were monitoring elections there.

“Paul’s primary focus was always directed at domestic Ukrainian political campaign work, and that is reflected in today’s filing,” said Jason Maloni, a spokesman for Mr. Manafort.

The problem of course is that Manafort's millions in blood money meant he was in the business of helping a government friendly to Russia get elected, something he refused to actually disclose as he should have done under law here.  Then again, he was performing the same job here, wasn't he?  That mean both Mike Flynn and Paul Manafort have both lied about representing foreign powers in campaign capacity, and then both went to work for Trump.

I'm betting Robert Mueller is having a less-than-fun time sifting through this maze of sand, but when he hits pay dirt it's going to be a hell of a thing.

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