Ukrainian Lawmaker: Paul Manafort Laundered Funds From Pro-Russian Party

A Ukrainian lawmaker on Monday released documents that he claimed showed that President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, laundered money paid to him by a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine.

Serhiy Leshchenko, a member of Parliament, held up the documents as proof of his allegation that Manafort received illegal payments while working as a consultant for the Party of Regions, the political party of disgraced former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, according to reports in the Washington Post and New York Times.

Manafort resigned from the Trump campaign in August, shortly after the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine, a government agency, released a secret ledger maintained by the party that listed $12.7 million in secret cash payments made out to him.

The longtime GOP operative told the Times last summer that he “never received a single off-the-books cash payment.” His spokesman called the latest allegations from Leshchenko “baseless” in a statement to the newspaper.

Leshchenko held a news conference Monday where he displayed an invoice he said came from a safe in the former Kiev office of Manafort’s consulting firm, Davis Manafort & Freeman, Inc., according to the Post. The $750,000 invoice to a Belize-based company for the sale of 501 computers was dated Oct. 14, 2009, the same date that the ledger says Manafort received a $750,000 payment from the Party of Regions.

The FBI was looking into the potential ties between several Trump associates and Russian officials as part of its broader investigation into Russia’s interference in the presidential election.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer tried to distance Manafort from the Trump campaign in a press briefing on Monday, saying he played “a very limited role for a very limited amount of time.” Manafort joined the campaign in March 2016, and served as campaign chairman from April through August.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

TPM Staff
Latest Livewire
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: