National Security

Reports: Manafort Received Secret Payments, Page Under Surveillance

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

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.

  • ninjaf

    I believe I saw a “clarification” from Manafort’s attorney saying that Manafort had said he never received cash payments, which are not the same as wire transfers.

    Yeah, that’s their story and they’re sticking to it.

    • mnpollio

      LOL! Seriously! That is their defense? Talk about parsing words.

      • ninjaf

        Yep, that’s what they’re going with.

  • Aynwrong

    Has anyone else noticed Carter Page habit of describing the British dossier on Trump as the “dodgey dossier?” He did it more than once in his interview Chris Hayes and I think now again in the Jake Tapper interview. Is this something it’s referred to in right wing media or is he trying to nickname it?

    Every time I hear him say it it sounds so forced it always reminds me of the character in Mean Girls desperately trying to make “That’s so fetch” into a popular expression.

    I believe “dodgey dossier” might also be a reference to a dossier from the mid 2000s regarding WMD and the British gov’t under Tony Blair as well.

  • Scopedog

    Meanwhile, H.A. Goodman still continues to put out bats**t crazy tweets that this whole Trump/Russia thing is a distraction by the DNC.

    ….I need a drink.

    • WhittakerWalt

      HaHa Goodman had his heart broken by the Primaries and it’s left his mind in a shambles.

    • Aynwrong

      Yeah, Greenwald and the intercept are griping about Rachel Maddow covering Trump/Russia so relentlessly. Movie Bob (Bob Chipman) had an interesting take on it. That the Greenwald crowd is too invested in the idea of Hillary losing because of her failure to be Bernie.

      Also, that if Russia can be blamed for Hillary’s loss than the DNC won’t shift leftward. There may be some truth in that, but it’s no excuse for closing one’s eyes to the violation of our national sovereignty.

      • “…to the violation of our national sovereignty and the Trump campaign’s acts of treason.

        FTFY

  • fry1laurie

    So, Drumpf’s campaign manager and a key campaign adviser have either taken money directly from Russia or have been investigated for by the FISA Court for Russian ties. If this thing ever comes close to Drumpf himself, he’ll be in trouble (snark, it’s already close to him, it’s the man himself)

  • muselet

    Previously, Paul Manafort was Donald Trump’s campaign manager, never got paid by Viktor Yanukovych, and the Black Ledger was a forgery.

    Now, Donald Trump has barely heard of Paul Manafort, Manafort’s firm received “legitimate payments” in the same amount as listed in the Black Ledger, and Manafort is in the process of retroactively registering as an agent for Ukraine.

    And Carter Page is in hot water up to his upper lip because he was suspiciously cozy with Russian interests.

    “America First,” my arse.

    –alopecia

  • Badgerite

    Surprise me.

  • Georgie

    Well shit, lots and lots of Russia information, it seems a bit suspicious, maybe someone should look into this…
    http://artfcity.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/anigif_optimized-22991-1431449999-11.gif

    • Scopedog

      There sure is a sh*tload of smoke here….

  • Dread_Pirate_Mathius

    Why is “retroactive registration” even a thing?

    If you weren’t registered, you’re acting illegally. You shouldn’t be able to go in after the fact, once you’ve been caught, and make the whole thing legal after the fact. That’s absurd.

    • Georgie

      It is a GOP thing, now.

      • I would argue it’s always been their thing. They always think the rules don’t apply to them (because it’s true, they don’t, neither the voters nor the media really punish the GOP for fucking us over again and again).

    • mnpollio

      I was thinking the same thing. Does this whole “retroactive” registering even help their cause at all from a legal standpoint? They denied that they were even doing it and then when irrefutable proof appears to destroy their claim, they go an “retroactively” register as foreign agents and change their story. I mean, huh?! So, in other words, these people were acting foreign agents who had infiltrated the U.S. government while actively working for foreign governments in potentially treasonous ways and they think retroactively registering as such makes it all OK? If this defense works for them and they all walk away from this scot-free then our country is just flat-out broken without a hope of being fixed.