For­mer Trump cam­paign chair’s firm re­ceived Ukraine Black Ledger pay­out


WASHINGTON— Last Au­gust, a hand­writ­ten ledger sur­faced in Ukraine with dol­lar amounts and dates next to the name of Paul Manafort, who was then Don­ald Trump’s cam­paign chair­per­son.

Ukrainian in­ves­ti­ga­tors called it ev­i­dence of off-the-books pay­ments from a pro-Rus­sian po­lit­i­cal party — and part of a larger pat­tern of cor­rup­tion un­der the coun­try’s for­mer pres­i­dent. Manafort, who worked for the party as an in­ter­na­tional po­lit­i­cal con­sul­tant, has pub­licly ques­tioned the ledger’s au­then­tic­ity.

Now, fi­nan­cial records newly ob­tained by The As­so­ci­ated Press con­firm that at least $1.2 mil­lion (U.S.) 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. The two pay­ments came years be­fore Manafort be­came in­volved in Trump’s cam­paign, but for the first time bol­ster the cred­i­bil­ity of the ledger. They also put the ledger in a new light, as fed­eral prose­cu­tors have been in­ves­ti­gat­ing Manafort’s work in Eastern Europe as part of a larger anti-cor­rup­tion probe. In a state­ment to the As­so­ci­ated Press, 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.”

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