Justice Department Requests Manafort Bank Records As Part Of Russia Probe

Mary Altaffer/AP

The Justice Department has requested the banking records of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort as part of its investigation into possible collusion between Trump associates and Russian operatives working to influence the 2016 election, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

Federal investigators asked Citizens Financial Group Inc., a Rhode Island-based bank, to turn over Manafort’s records in mid-April, according to the report. The newspaper noted it’s unclear exactly what information DOJ requested or whether other banks received similar requests.

New York City real estate records reviewed by the Journal revealed that Citizens gave Manafort a $2.7 million loan in 2016 to refinance debt on a Manhattan condominium he owns.

Manafort had an unusual pattern of using shell companies to make all-cash purchases of real estate properties, transferring the properties to his own name, and then taking out large mortgages against them, according to a March investigation from WNYC.

The GOP operative and lobbyist has intimate ties to pro-Russian politicians and business leaders, and is one of several Trump associates under scrutiny from the FBI as part of its probe into Russia’s election interference. Manafort has denied any wrongdoing.

The New York attorney general and Manhattan district attorney also recently opened investigations into Manafort’s real estate holdings, the Journal reported.