Ukraine ‘Black ledger’ that forced Manafort out of Trump campaign exists — and he was paid at least $1.2M
Paul Manafort was paid at least $1.2 million from a so-called “black ledger” used by a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine to make off-the-book payments, according to newly revealed documents.
The Associated Press obtained handwritten financial records that appear to confirm the existence of the ledger, which Manafort claimed was fabricated, and that his consulting firm was paid through it.
The documents show payments made in 2007 and 2009 — years before Manafort served as Trump’s unpaid campaign chairman — but could be helpful to investigators in both the U.S. and Ukraine.
Ukrainian investigators said the evidence points to a larger pattern of corruption under the country’s pro-Kremlin former president, Viktor Yanukovych.
Federal prosecutors in the U.S. are investigating Manafort’s work in Eastern Europe as part of an anti-corruption case.
Manafort is also under congressional and FBI investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
He did not deny that his consulting firm received the wire transactions, but he said they were “legitimate payments for political consulting work that was provided.”
Manafort and his spokesman, Jason Maloni, had previously claimed the ledger did not exist.
Manafort resigned from the Trump campaign in August, after the Times reported the ledger.
The AP reported last month that Manafort was paid millions of dollars by a Russian oligarch starting in 2005 for a secret plan to push pro-Putin propaganda in U.S. media.