WASHINGTON, April 13, 2017 – Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s former campaign adviser, is expected to register as a foreign agent hoping to quiet questions regarding his former work for the Ukraine government.
Prior to his time on the Trump campaign team, from 2010 to 2014, Manafort worked on behalf of European Centre for a Modern Ukraine, a group for former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.
According to the Associated Press, Manafort received $1.2 million in off-the-book payments from Yanukovych’s party while the Russian-backed leader was still in power. Manafort is the second Trump aide to register as a foreign agent. Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn acknowledged his work as an agent on behalf of the Turkish government, pressuring the U.S. to extradite exiled cleric Fetullah Gulen, whom the Turkish government blames for a failed coup in 2016.
Manafort has been under the watch of the FBI and Department of Justice as part of an anti-corruption probe of former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych. Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni confirmed Manafort’s intention of registering as a foreign agent.
“Since before the 2016 election, Mr. Manafort has been in discussions with federal authorities about the advisability of registering under FARA for some of his past political work. Mr. Manafort received formal guidance recently from the authorities and he is taking appropriate steps in response to the guidance. The work in question was widely known, concluded before Mr. Manafort began working with the Trump campaign and was not conducted on behalf of the Russian government.”
As part of the ongoing probe into Russian manipulation of the 2016 election, Manafort is among four people being reviewed by congressional investigators.
Manafort’s decision to register, is an acknowledgment that he failed to properly disclose his work to the Justice Department as required by law. The Justice Department rarely Prosecution by the Justice Department for violations of the Foreign Agent Registration Act are rare, however, going forward Manafort will be expected to detail his foreign agent work.
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