Donald Trump is undeniably Moscow’s candidate. His campaign chief, Paul Manafort, has pocketed more than $12 million from Vladimir Putin puppet Viktor F. Yanukovych, the former Ukrainian president.
Yanukovych was ousted in a pro-Western coup, prompting Russia to seize the Crimea and plunge the country into a civil war.
The revelation, contained in today’s New York Times raises serious national security concerns.
Trump has made numerous muddled and conflicting statements about his relationship with the Russian president. But the connection between YKanukovych and Manafort is undeniable.
It was unearthed by the Ukraine’s new National Anti-Corruption Bureau.
Investigators discovered secret ledgers showing that Manafort received the payments between 2007 and 2012 while working as a Washington lobbyist. Manafort, however, never registered with the U.S. Justice Department under the federal Foreign Agents Act.
The law requires Washington influence peddlers to disclose their relationships when they lobby on behalf of foreign governments.
That may explain why the payments were made in secret, according to documents uncovered in the Ukraine.
Ukrainian investigators also uncovered ties between Manafort and off-shore shell companies linked to Putin’s cronies.
One deal involved the sale of Ukrainian cable television assets put together by Trump’s campaign chief, according to The Times.
The deal provides a window into how Putin has turned Russia into a oligarchy run by his powerful business cronies. It also suggests Trump is open to similar insider deals in the United States should he become president.
Trump has openly praised Putin for his “strong leadership.” He also expressed support for Russia’s illegal annexation of the Ukrainian Crimea, sparking a civil war.
Russia is suspected of having a hand in the release of Democratic National Committee emails that were obtained through a hack. Trump, at one point, encouraged Russian agents to hack Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
On Friday, Democratic congressmen were the victims of another hack. Their personal cell phone numbers and email addresses were posted online by a hacker group believed to be tied to Russia, according to U.S. Intelligence sources.
Such overt foreign intervention in a U.S. national election is unprecedented in the nation’s history. The fact that a presidential candidate is encouraging it by a known adversary, borders on treason.
Social media has been on fire over the latest revelations. Even a number of Republican heavyweights are calling for Manifort’s resignation.
Manafort lawyer Richard Hibey said his client never received the cash and was not involved in illegal or corrupt activities, The Times reported.
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