On Sunday night, The New York Times published an article about the relationship between Donald Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and the Moscow-allied former president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, as well as secret records from his once-ruling party showing millions of dollars worth of cash payments marked for Manafort.
Manafort was a consultant for Yanukovych, a member of the Party of Regions who fled to Russia after an uprising in 2014. The newly-formed National Anti-Corruption Bureau in Ukraine says that handwritten ledgers found in the former Kiev headquarters of the party show $12.7 million in undisclosed cash payments designated for Manafort from the party from 2007 to 2012, The Times reports. The records were discovered this year, and investigators believe the payments were doled out to people as part of an illegal system that influenced elections. They have not determined if Manafort ever received the money, or the purpose of any payments.
“He understood what was happening in Ukraine,” Vitaliy Kasko, a former senior official with the general prosecutor’s office, told The Times. “It would have to be clear to any reasonable person that the Yanukovych clan, when it comes to power, was engaged in corruption. It’s impossible to imagine a person would look at this and think, ‘Everything is all right.'” Manafort began focusing on international consulting in the 1980s, and his firm helped the Party of Regions win several elections. A lawyer for Manafort told The Times that Manafort did not receive “any such cash payments.” Trump’s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, tweeted a link to the Times report, without comment. Trump has not responded, on Twitter or otherwise, The Week reports