Paul Manafort offered a Kremlin-linked Russian billionaire private briefings on the Trump campaign while serving as its chairman, the Washington Post reported Wednesday.
Manafort emailed an overseas intermediary requesting that his message be passed along to aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin with whom Manafort had previously done business.
“If he needs private briefings we can accommodate,” Manafort wrote in an email dated July 7, 2016, according to the report.
Post reporters were read part of the email, which Politico reported was sent from his presidential campaign account. It was one of tens of thousands of documents that congressional investigators and special counsel Robert Mueller’s team have received as part of their ongoing probes into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.
There is no evidence in the documents to show that Deripaska either received the email or took any briefings from Manafort, according to the newspaper. Representatives for both Deripaska’s company and Manafort denied that there was anything inappropriate about the communications.
Manafort spokesperson Jason Maloni told the Post that no briefings occurred and characterized the email as simply an offer for a “routine” briefing on the state of the campaign.
Vera Kurochkina, a spokeswoman for Deripaska’s company, Rusal, told the Post that its requests for comment “veer into manufactured questions so grossly false and insinuating that I am concerned even responding to these fake connotations provides them the patina of reality.”
Per the Post’s report, the documents turned over to investigators include a number of email exchanges related to Deripaska, some of which focus on money Manafort believed he was owed by Eastern European clients, that appear deliberately vague and that refer to the aluminum magnate only by his initials.
Manafort has reportedly been informed by federal prosecutors that they plan to indict him for possible tax and financial crimes.