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)
After Trump: No free pass for Republicans — they own this nightmare
With the impeachment inquiry leveling up this month as public hearings begin, and with an election that might actually be the end of Donald Trump now less than a year away, the campaign to let Trump's Republican allies — even the most villainous offenders — move on and pretend this never happened is already underway.
This article first appeared in Salon.
Sadly, the clearest articulation of the let-bygones-be-bygones mentality has come from a Democrat — unsurprisingly, former Vice President Joe Biden.Biden, who is still, somehow, the frontrunner in Democratic primary polling, spoke at a chi-chi fundraiser on Wednesday, and dropped this pearl of wisdom: "With Donald Trump out of the way, you’re going to see a number of my Republican colleagues have an epiphany."
As climate crisis-fueled fires rage, fears grow of an ‘uninhabitable’ California
As activist Bill McKibben put it, "We've simply got to slow down the climate crisis."
With wildfires raging across California on Wednesday—and with portions of the state living under an unprecedented "Extreme Red Flag Warning" issued by the National Weather Service due to the severe conditions—some climate experts are openly wondering if this kind of harrowing "new normal" brought on by the climate crisis could make vast regions of the country entirely uninhabitable.
‘A profound emoluments clause violation’: Andrew Napolitano slams Trump’s hosting the G7 at Doral
In the wake of acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney's announcement this Thursday that next year's G7 summit will be hosted at President Trump's Doral golf club, Fox News senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano pointed out that Trump would be violating the emoluments clause if he were to go through with the move.
At the outset of the segment, Fox Business Network anchor Neil Cavuto said that the announcement is "effectively saying the president has given himself this contract."