Ukraine is investigating corruption scheme involving top Trump advisor during Yanukovych presidency
Ukraine’s Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) has discovered handwritten ledgers apparently linking Paul Manafort, the chairman of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, to more than $12 million in undisclosed payments during his time as advisor to former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, The New York Times reported.
The ledgers are currently being investigated by Ukraine’s newly-formed NABU as possible evidence of widespread corruption during the Yanukovych presidency. Investigators believe that the disbursements were part of an illegal off-the-books system whose recipients included election officials.
The ledgers mention Manfort’s name 22 times and apparently document payments totaling $12.7 million between 2007 and 2012.
The documents also tie Manafort to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska and the suspicious purchase of Ukrainian cable television assets for $18 million.
Ukrainian investigators stated that Manafort must have known about the implications of his financial dealings.
“He understood what was happening in Ukraine. It would have to be clear to any reasonable person that the Yanukovych clan, when it came to power, was engaged in corruption,” said Vitaliy Kasko, a former senior official with the General Prosecutor’s office in Kiev.
Manafort did not respond to The New York Times’ requests for interviews. However, his lawyer, Richard Hibey, said his client had not receipted “any such cash payments.”