Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign chief who worked tirelessly to get Trump into the White House owed $17 million to pro Russia groups before he joined as Trump’s campaign manager in March 2016, eight months before the US Presidential elections that ushered in Trump.
The New York Times on Wednesday reported that records filed in Cyprus, where Manafort was keeping banking accounts, showed that money was owed by shell companies tied to Manafort’s work in the Ukraine as a pro-Russia Party of Regions consultant.
This latest revelation comes shortly after it was announced that Manafort and Donald Trump Jr. are set to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee in a public hearing next Wednesday.
Manafort’s ties to pro Russia groups and the revelations that he owed large sums of money to these groups will likely further destroy the Trump team’s defense against the Russia-collusion story.
Manafort and Donald Trump Jr are already under intense scrutiny following revelations that the duo, together with Jared Kushner met a Russian lawyer linked to the Kremlin who promised them information that would damage Hillary Clinton and help Trump sail through to the White House. Accompanying the Russian lawyer was an ex KGB operative, a Russian American lobbyist who is well known in Washington for being a master of “the dark arts.” The others who accompanied the Russians are yet to be identified.
The Russian lawyer whose contact and link to Trump Jr claimed was a Russian lawyer did not explain where she acquired the damaging information against Hillary Clinton but speculation is rife that whichever she acquired the information, if any, was illegal and through Russian hackers.
It is unknown if the damaging information she claimed to have includes Hillary Clinton’s emails that were hacked and shared allover the internet to influence American voters. The Democratic National Congress too was hacked and their communications leaked online.
The Trump team denies any kind of collusion or communication with the Russians during the 2016 Presidential elections. The Senate hearing into the Russia-Collusion scandal continues.