A New York Times report published last evening shows that Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort got $13 million in loans from two Trump-linked businesses shortly after exiting the campaign. At the moment of Manafort’s departure, Trump had become the GOP presidential nominee, the DNC servers had been hacked, and Trump’s aide’s had contact with Russian operatives.
Manafort had to step down amid reports about shady past dealings with Ukrainian and Russian business associates. The latest report shows that his ouster didn’t affect his business affairs in Ukraine.
Manafort Receives Millions from Trump-connected Associates
On the exact day Manafort left the Trump team, Aug. 19, he created a shell company which got $13 million from two companies with Trump ties. One of the firms was controlled by a Ukrainian billionaire, while a Trump financial adviser ran the other. At the time, Manafort and his wife secured with properties around $20 million in loans, public records show.
The records fail to show, however, the purpose the Manaforts got those loans. One document suggests that the family was struggling financially because of a series of uninspired investments.
However, the NYT report suggests Manafort was able to get in touch with Trump-linked lenders due to his role in the campaign, for which he got no compensation.
The records also reveal the size of the former Trump campaign aide’s real estate portfolio, which he probably build during the time he was working for the Ukrainians. Manafort has many properties in Florida, New York, and Virginia, in which he invested millions. He has also been a regular user of shell companies in his business activities.
Feds Scrutinizing Manafort
Recently, Manafort landed once more in the spotlight after federal investigator started a probe into allegations that Trump campaign cooperated with Russia to help Trump win the elections. The feds reviewed Manafort’s finances, bank accounts, and tax havens. The recently-revealed loans are not part of the investigation.
It is unclear what money was used by Manafort to buy the real estate properties. He also didn’t publicly register for lobbying activities on behalf of Ukraine. The records would have revealed how much Ukraine paid him for his services.
Some of his work in Ukraine is considered lobbying activity, and under the U.S. law, he is required to report it. According to Ukrainian sources, the political party of the disgraced Ukrainian lawmaker Viktor F. Yanukovych paid him “off the books” $12.7 million in cash. The payment features in a handwritten ledger which was confirmed by the documents recently released by the lawmaker himself.
According to the Associated Press, Yanukovych’s party had paid the U.S. official twice, in 2007 and 2009 respectively. The two payments were made via a shell company located in Belize to one of Manafort’s bank accounts in Virginia.
Manafort previously said the ledger was fake, but on Wednesday, he backed down from that claim. He argued, though, that the payments weren’t unlawful as they were made through wire transfers, not cash.
Image Source: Flickr