While speculation has run rampant today about the nature of Paul Manafort’s resignation, CNN is reporting that Manafort’s firm is indeed under federal investigation for ties to the former Ukranian government that was ousted from power back in 2013.
FBI and Justice Department prosecutors are conducting an investigation into possible US ties to alleged corruption of the former pro-Russian president of Ukraine, including the work of Paul Manafort’s firm, according to multiple US law enforcement officials.The investigation is broad and is looking into whether US companies and the financial system were used to aid alleged corruption by the party of former president Viktor Yanukovych.Manafort, who resigned as chairman of Donald Trump’s campaign Friday, has not been the focus of the probe, according to the law enforcement officials. The investigation is ongoing and prosecutors haven’t ruled anything out, the officials said.
SCOOP: Podesta Group has hired outside counsel in Ukraine lobbying controversy. Kimberly Fritts stmt: pic.twitter.com/r6AeSCw93u
— Rosie Gray (@RosieGray) August 19, 2016
With all of this going on, two important questions come to mind. The first, obviously, is if the Trump campaign really had no clue of Manafort’s involvements in Ukraine (our own Leon Wolf argues that he most likely knew and was hoping this would never come up). The second question is if John Podesta’s relationship with his brother and high position in the Clinton campaign will be a factor.
Clinton has skirted the Department of Justice once already this year, it is not outside the realm of possibility that she uses her influence to protect the brother of her campaign chair. This is definitely a story to keep your eyes on, as ties to Russia and pro-Russian forces are never a good thing for the United States, especially not in a presidential campaign.