As part of the investigation of Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election, Special Counsel Robert Mueller is reportedly looking into potential money laundering activities by former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.
The Wall Street Journal announced Thursday evening that Manafort was Mueller’s next target, citing their source as “people with knowledge of these investigations” and “a person familiar with the matter,” and said Mueller and his team actually have been looking into into Manafort for several weeks now.
Manafort’s years of working for a pro-Russia party in Ukraine have come under scrutiny, and his real estate transactions are being examined for potential fraud and money-laundering, as he has reportedly “spent and borrowed tens of millions of dollars” over the past ten years in property investments.
The Washington Journal reported earlier that a bank run by President Trump’s former economic adviser, Steve Calk, had loaned up to $16 million to Manafort, although nothing illegal is mentioned about the loans.
The New York Times also reported Wednesday that Manafort had up to $17 million in debt prior to joining the Trump campaign, and alleged that the debt was owed by “shell companies” connected to his business dealings in Ukraine.
Manafort’s spokesman, Jason Maloni, said that is not true. “Manafort is not indebted to Mr. Deripaska or the Party of Regions, nor was he at the time he began working for the Trump campaign,” Maloni reportedly told the Times. “The broader point, which Mr. Manafort has maintained from the beginning, is that he did not collude with the Russian government to influence the 2016 election.”
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