Ukrainian investigators say unearthed secret ledgers show that Donald Trump's campaign manager Paul Manafort illegally received nearly $13 million in cash over a five-year period, The New York Times reports.
Manafort ran a consulting business in the Ukraine in support of former President Viktor Yanukovych who was ousted in 2014. Ukraine's newly formed National Anti-Corruption Bureau said Manafort's name appeared 22 times in payment totaling $12.7 million in the so-called "Black Ledger," but also said there was no proof Manafort actually received the monies.
"We emphasize that the presence of P. Manafort's name in the list does not mean that he actually got the money, because the signatures that appear in the column of recipients could belong to other people," the Bureau said in a statement quoted by the Times.
Manafort's lawyer told the Times he not received "any such cash payments."
Manafort also released a lengthy statement Monday blasting the Times report, accusing the news outlet of "purposefully" ignoring facts.
Regardless, Manafort's name on the hand-written documents adds another layer of mystery to his time in the Ukraine and his involvement in the massive political and business machinations of the country.
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"He understood what was happening in Ukraine," Vitaliy Kasko, formerly with the general prosecutor's office in Kiev, told the Times. "It would have to be clear to any reasonable person that the Yanukovych clan, when it came to power, was engaged in corruption."
The Corruption Bureau says the monies funded a vast network of operatives intent on influencing elections and looting assets under the Yanukovych regime, the Times reported.
Buzz around the story took on a life of its own when former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski tweeted out the story from the Times, according to The Hill.
Lewandowski, fired by the Trump campaign, has since found a home on CNN as a political commentator. Panned by critics for using the cable news home as a way to continue pressing Trump's cause, the tweet suggested ill-will remains with Manafort.
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