When Ukrainian investigators published a ledger that purportedly showed secret payments made from former Ukrainian president and Putin stooge Viktor Yanukovych to Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, Manafort and other Trump allies called it "fake news" and some even speculated that the ledger was forged by the Ukrainian investigators who released it.
The Associated Press has now confirmed, however, that the payments were received by Manafort.
Now, financial records newly obtained by The Associated Press confirm that at least $1.2 million in payments listed in the ledger next to Manafort's name were actually received by his consulting firm in the United States. They include payments in 2007 and 2009, providing the first evidence that Manafort's firm received at least some money listed in the so-called Black Ledger. [...]
In a statement to the AP, Manafort did not deny that his firm received the money but said "any wire transactions received by my company are legitimate payments for political consulting work that was provided. I invoiced my clients and they paid via wire transfer, which I received through a U.S. bank."
Manafort previously denied that he received any payments, but he now says they were "legitimate payments."
The plot thickened this afternoon as lobbyists who worked for the European Center for a Modern Ukraine, Paul Manafort's firm, retroactively registered as foreign agents with the Department of Justice.
Meanwhile, and in related news, the Washington Post reported last night that former Trump adviser Carter Page was and may still be under surveillance by the FBI.
The FBI and the Justice Department obtained the warrant targeting Carter Page’s communications after convincing a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judge that there was probable cause to believe Page was acting as an agent of a foreign power, in this case Russia, according to the officials.
This is the clearest evidence so far that the FBI had reason to believe during the 2016 presidential campaign that a Trump campaign adviser was in touch with Russian agents.
It's not easy to convince the FISA court to issue a warrant of this nature, but in Page's case it may have easier due to the fact that Page has been involved in Russian espionage before.
The initial warrant issued by the FISA court last summer covered 90 days, but the warrant has reportedly been renewed "more than once." We don't know if he's currently under surveillance, but it seems like a good bet.
Update... Paul Manafort himself is also going to register as a foreign agent. This was Trump's campaign manager. He was a foreign agent the entire time.