Taking blood money

Yesterday, Trump’s lawyer was “caught” sluicing donations from the poor and jobless through his NGO, to fund his lifestyle. Now the New York Times and other media disclose Trump’s former campaign leader Paul Manafort earned $ 17 million – dubbed blood money by some – through his consultancy firm. The money was paid by a pro-Russia party which supported Ukraine’s former president; a Putin ally.

The saga of frauds, money laundering, dodgy business deals, Russian and other suspicious ties involving Trump and his allies continues to snowball.

That Paul Manafort worked in Ukraine, advising a Putin-ally was known. Months before the election, his pro-Russia connections forced him out as Trump’s campaign leader. Manafort remains one of Trump’s friends.

Recently, Manafort released paperwork. The NYT mentions the “filing serves as a retroactive admission that Mr. Manafort performed work in the United States on behalf of a foreign power …“.

This power happens to be a Ukraine party which supported ex-president Yanukovych. He is a Putin ally and fled from the Ukraine to Russia where he remains. The party which supported him, paid roughly $ 9 million a year, to Manafort’s political consultancy firm.

This money was not just paid to promote or prop up Mr. Yanukovych in Ukraine. The NYT states millions of dollars were also paid for advise to Ukraine officials on how to “deal” with representatives of US government bodies, for lobbying in Washington, and related activities.

The money was also used to “keep in touch with” certain Republicans. These include Republican Representative Rohrabacher and Republican pollster and strategist Tony Fabrizio. The latter was, like Manafort, involved in Trump’s campaign.

The NYT previously disclosed Ukraine off-the-books payments to various officials working for Manafort’s political consultancy firm between 2007 and 2012. Recent disclosures are based on files released as part of negotiations between Mr. Manafort and officials of the US Justice Department.

Manafort’s work in Ukraine coincided with large real estate investments he made in the United States, … being scrutinized by federal investigators …” according to the NYT. Of course, money was not directly received from Russia.

VEB, the Russian state-owned “development bank” is not mentioned. Not so long ago, Trump’s son-in-law and advisor Jared Kushner met with its chairman Sergey Gorkov. Sergey Gorkov and his VEB were involved in financially assisting Yanukovich.

VEB also employed Russian Evgeny Buryakov as its New York Deputy Representative. Buryakov and several other Russians were caught spying. After being convicted and spending time in prison, Buryakov was deported from the US in April 2017.

As with the Sekulow family, various Manafort family members benefited from the fees paid to Manafort’s firm. One of these dubbed the money doled out to family members “blood money”.

NYT, Trump Campaign Chief’s firm got $17 million from Pro-Russia Party
NYT: Jared Kushner’s not-so-secret channel to Putin
Guardian: Trump lawyer’s firm steered millions in donations
Newsweek: Jay Sekulow



About Kate

Multilingual arts & culture journalist, blogger, columnist, writer and translator. Contributor to international (news) media. 2014 winning columnist Gentse Schrijversdagen, Gand, Belgium.
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