The FBI and U.S. Justice Department are investigating possible U.S. ties to alleged corruption involving the former president of Ukraine, including the work of firms headed by political operatives Paul Manafort and Tony Podesta, CNN reported on Friday, citing multiple U.S. law enforcement officials.
The broad-based investigation was looking into whether U.S. companies and the financial system were used to enable corruption by the party of former pro-Russian Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, CNN said.
A person who answered a telephone number for Manafort said Manafort was not available for comment. The person, who said he was an associate of Manafort and who gave his name only as David, referred queries to a lawyer in Washington, who did not immediately respond to a phone call and an email.
Manafort, who resigned as chairman of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s campaign on Friday, had not been the focus of the probe, CNN said, citing the officials.
The probe was looking at the work of other firms linked to the former Ukrainian government, including the Podesta Group, a lobbying and public relations company headed by Tony Podesta, whose brother John Podesta is chairman of the campaign to elect Democratic Party presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
Manafort’s attorney Richard Hibey did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The FBI declined to comment, CNN reported.
The Podesta Group has hired an independent legal firm to investigate whether it had been misled by the Centre for a Modern Ukraine, a not-for-profit group linked to the ousted Ukrainian government, a spokeswoman for the group said in a statement.
The Justice Department, asked to comment on the report, said it remained “committed to helping recover stolen assets on behalf of the people of Ukraine.”
Investigators in Ukraine have said Yanukovych and his party engaged in widespread corruption. He fled to Russia following a popular uprising in 2014.
(Additional reporting by John Walcott and Mark Hosenball; Reporting by Eric Walsh; Editing by James Dalgleish)
Russian Twitter propaganda predicted 2016 US election polls
But one conclusion was unequivocal: Russia unleashed an extensive campaign of fake news and disinformation on social media with the aim of distorting U.S. public opinion, sowing discord and swinging the election in favor of the Republican candidate Donald Trump.
Beto O’Rourke calls for a ‘war tax’ in release of health care plan for veterans
The Democratic presidential candidate uses his eighth policy announcement to focus on an area that he prioritized in Congress.
Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke on Monday morning released a plan to improve the lives of veterans, returning to an area of priority during his time in the U.S. House for his latest 2020 policy rollout.
In keeping with measures he supported in Congress, the plan calls for a "responsible end" to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — reinvesting $1 out of every $2 saved in veterans programs — and the creation of a Veterans Health Care Trust Fund for each future war. The fund would be paid for by a "war tax" on households without service members or veterans.
Conservative Ben Shapiro tweeted something many found offensive — so now he’s calling his critics ‘garbage’
Right wing "thought leader" Ben Shapiro appeared today to say not using the "N" word is nearly impossible as he defended conservative, pro-gun teen Kyle Kashuv, one of the Parkland survivors who just had his acceptance to Harvard rescinded over his racist remarks, which included repeated use of the "N" word.
To be clear, Shapiro denies that's what he meant.
Here is Shapiro on Twitter, in what many took as him appearing to call not using the "N" word – in Kashuv's case, repeatedly, over and over and over again, "an insane, cruel standard no one can possibly meet."