UKRAINE -- Friday morning, Ukrainian lawmakers revealed more details about what they say are millions of dollars of undisclosed cash payments in Paul Manafort’s name.
The items are listed in a handwritten ledger that investigators believe was discovered after disgraced President Victor Yanukovych was overthrown in 2014. The entries were made between 2007 and 2012, when Manafort worked for the Kremlin-backed leader. Some are for computers, or exit polling -- but the biggest entries simply state “Manafort Payment” or “Contract.”
Investigators say they consider any off-the-books payments to be illegal. It’s still unclear if any money changed hands, and Manafort has denied receiving any cash payments.
Anti-corruption campaigner Sergi Leschenko says a closer look is warranted.“He has to be interrogated, he has to be under investigation. If he is guilty or not, this is of course up to American judges and up to the American judicial system,” he said.
Manafort has left open the possibility that payments were made to his U.S. firm or colleagues.
Leschenko said while Manafort’s signature doesn’t appear in the ledger, a former party member, Vitaly Kalyuzhny, signed nine times for Manafort items. Kalyuzhny is a member of a non-profit company that allegedly funneled over a million dollars to a D.C. lobby firm to promote the pro-Russian agenda of Yanukovych.
We should point out that Sergi Leschenko and his anti-corruption team have every reason to want to see Trump defeated this election because of his support of Russia, which is currently at war with Ukraine.