CNN Politics | 28Jun2018 | Katelyn Polantz and Evan Perez
Investigators detail Manafort money from Ukrainian corruption, Russian
The third paragraph indicates that Rinat Akhmetov (Ukraine's
richest oligarch) is now part of Robert Mueller's investigation.
in a "superseding
indictment" dated 08Jun2018, Mueller specifically connects
Konstantin Kilimnik (suspected FSB agent) to Manafort's operations in
-Finally, Seth Hettena blogs that in 2004 Nathaniel Rothschild introduced Oleg Deripaska to Paul Manafort.]
New court documents in Paul Manafort's criminal case give the fullest
picture yet of what prosecutors say was the former Trump campaign
chairman's financial reliance on Ukrainians suspected of corruption and
oligarch, while he allegedly schemed to defraud banks and the
A Virginia federal court unveiled several new details on Tuesday in two
search warrants and accompanying affidavits used to search Paul
The search warrant documents, which have been available in court
records for months but previously had dozens of pages redacted, reveal
for the first time how prosecutors believe former Ukrainian President
Viktor Yanukovych, the Ukrainian's financial backer Rinat Akhmetov and
Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska propped up Manafort's alleged crimes.
One search warrant allowed federal investigators to remove files from a
storage unit in Alexandria last May, while the other let them sweep his
Alexandria residence in July 2017.
Prosecutors have previously said Manafort engaged in a money laundering
conspiracy after he hid his foreign lobbying activities. But the newly
unredacted parts of the search warrants for the first time connect
Manafort and his longtime deputy Rick Gates to alleged Ukrainian
"Based on reporting from multiple sources, the FBI believes that
Yanukovych's government engages in systemic public corruption. The same
sources report that corrupt government officials and their allies in
the business community during Yanukovych's presidency looted Ukraine's
public coffers of millions of dollars and funneled those assets to
foreign bank accounts to hide the embezzlement," an FBI affidavit used
to obtain one of the warrants says.
In an interview with FBI investigators in 2014, Gates said "that
various oligarchs would chip in to pay them for their consulting work,"
according to the search warrant. Earlier this year, Gates pleaded
guilty to lying to investigators and engaging in a conspiracy related
to the Manafort business and lobbying work. He has since been
cooperating with prosecutors and has not yet been sentenced for the
"Gates said he was directed by Ukrainians to open accounts in Cyprus
and Grenadines. Gates was told that it was easier for the Ukrainians to
pay Gates and Manafort from one Cypriot account to another Cypriot
account. Gates was also told that Ukrainians did not want others to
know the identity of their campaign manager," one search warrant
The affidavit also lists a $10 million loan that Deripaska gave to a
Manafort business, citing 2010 tax records. It also mentions another
unnamed oligarch that Manafort worked with to discuss an unspecified
New York real estate transaction.
Deripaska has said that instead of assisting Manafort's scheme, he was
its victim. The Russian accused Manafort and Gates in a lawsuit earlier
this year of "vanishing" $26 million he gave them a decade ago. It's
not clear whether the $10 million loan mentioned in the warrant this
week was part of the transfers Deripaska named in the lawsuit, though
The Associated Press reported
last year that Manafort had a $10 million annual contract
with Deripaska that began in 2006 and ran for a few years. The lawsuit,
which Deripaska filed in New York state following Manafort and Gates'
indictment by special counsel Robert Mueller, is now paused because of
the criminal matter.
The search warrant affidavit says that a shell company Manafort
controlled -- named John Hannah LLC after Manafort's and another
business partners' middle names -- received the large loan from
Deripaska. Manafort used the same shell company to purchase an
apartment in Trump Tower years earlier, in 2006, according to public
records. That was around the time Deripaska began funding Manafort's
work, according to the court filing.
One warrant also says that Manafort was deeply in debt when he worked
for Trump in 2016 and especially at the time he left the campaign that
His credit had dropped significantly from two months earlier after he
charged $300,000 to an American Express card for New York Yankees
season tickets, the search warrant says.
"He is so in debt," a person whose name was redacted wrote at the time,
according to the warrant documents. Another person wrote that Manafort,
aside from getting a $3.5 million loan, was "$1 million off!"
The reference remains partially redacted and prosecutors don't explain
The search warrants describe Manafort as a former campaign chairman of
Donald Trump, but do not connect the campaign itself to actions he took
to commit alleged financial crimes. The charges Manafort faces in court
-- to which he's pleaded not guilty -- also don't touch on his work for
Trump and largely relate to lobbying he did before 2016.
The federal court in Virginia unsealed the more complete versions of
the search warrants in advance of a hearing Friday [29Jun2018] where
they may be mentioned, the court records said. Virginia federal Judge
TS Ellis will consider Manafort's requests to suppress evidence
obtained through the searches.