In a new twist in the Paul Manafort case, newly unsealed court documents have revealed that the former Trump campaign chairman worked with an unnamed Israeli official in an effort to manipulate the Obama administration to condemn Yulia Tymoshenko, the former Ukrainian prime minister who has been a thorn in the Russian government’s side for years.
As NBC News reports, Manafort was trying to undermine Tymoshenko as part of his work for Viktor Yanukovych, the former Kremlin-backed Ukrainian president who was ousted from power in 2014.
In particular, Manafort tried to paint Tymoshenko as an anti-Semite in an effort to get the U.S. government to cut off ties to her.
“Manafort privately coordinated with an unnamed senior Israeli official to spread this story as part of what he called an effort to have ‘Obama Jews’ pressure the Obama administration to disavow Tymoshenko,” NBC News reports. “Manafort wrote to one associate: ‘I have someone pushing it on the NY Post. Bada bing bada boom.’ At least one outlet — Breitbart News — took Manafort’s bait.”
Manafort on Friday is expected to plead guilty to assorted charges as part of a deal with special counsel Robert Mueller.