Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, has retroactively enrolled as a foreign agent, The Washington Post and Politicoreport.
Manafort’s filing Tuesday with the Justice Department shows his firm was paid $17.1 million in 2012 to 2014 for lobbying work he did on behalf of a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine, according to the reports.
Manafort’s spokesman, Jason Maloni, didn’t immediately return a request for comment.
Manafort, who conducted Trump’s campaign from March 2016 into August, worked on behalf of the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine, a leading group for former Ukranian President Viktor Yanukovych. (Yanukovych fled to Russia after he was ousted as president in 2014.) Manafort was required by federal law to register as a foreign agent for the work, but didn’t do this before this week.
The Associated Press first reported on Manafort’s undisclosed lobbying in August, while he was still chairman of Trump’s campaign. Based on this report, Manafort and fellow Trump adviser Rick Gates secretly helped funnel money from Yanukovych’s party to two Washington lobbying firms in hopes of undermining U.S. policy.
Manafort resigned in the campaign two days following the AP report. (The two lobbying firms involved, the Podesta Group and Mercury Public Affairs, have since filed with the Justice Department. )
The AP reported in April that Manafort’s firm received at least $1.2 million at what it stated was$12.7 million in suspected off-the-books payments in Yankovych’s party while he was still in power.
“Mr. Manafort received formal advice lately from the government and he’s taking appropriate measures in response to this advice,” Maloni stated at a statementat April after the AP report. “The work in question was widely known, reasoned before Mr. Manafort started working with the Trump campaign and was not conducted on behalf of the Russian government .”
Maloni told Politico on Tuesday that Manafort started the filing process in September, before the end of this presidential race.
Manafort is just one of many Trump consultants under FBI investigation in the agency’s probe into whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russian officials to influence the outcome of this 2016 presidential election. In addition, he has received scrutiny for his property bargainsalong with his business dealings with Russian oligarchs.
Another Trump associate under investigation, former national security advisor Michael Flynn, retroactively enrolled as a foreign lobbyist for work he secretly did on behalf of the Turkish government. According to a New York Times report, Trump’s transition team was conscious Flynn was under federal investigation for this work before Flynn joined the administration.
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