Yesterday, FBI Director James Comey confirmed that the existence of an FBI investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election. In light of Comey’s testimony, many have speculated that one likely target of the investigation is former Trump campaign CEO Paul Manafort, a man with deep pro-Russia lobbying ties.
Just one day later, a Ukranian lawmaker has stepped forward with what he claims is proof of a money laundering scheme implicating Manafort and a pro-Russian Ukranian party. As reported by the Washington Post:
“Serhiy Leshchenko, a lawmaker and journalist, released a copy of an invoice on letterhead from Manafort’s consulting company, based in Alexandria, Va., dated Oct. 14, 2009, to a Belize-based company for $750,000 for the sale of 501 computers.”
“On the same day, Manafort’s name is listed next to a $750,000 entry in the ‘black ledger,’ which was considered a party slush fund…Leshchenko alleges that Manafort falsified an invoice to the Belize company to legitimize the $750,000 payment to himself.”
Said Leshchenko, “I have found during this investigation that [Manafort] used offshore jurisdictions and falsified invoices to get money from the corrupt Ukrainian leader.” Leshchenko then produced copies of documents to journalists, purportedly verifying his claims.
The Trump White House is already attempting to distance itself from Manafort, minimizing the role he had on the campaign. Exactly how you minimize the role of the CEO OF THE CAMPAIGN remains to be seen.