First, the DOJ were collecting financial records for the republican Donald Trump’s former National Security Adviser retired Lt. General Mike Flynn who was forced to resign after only 24 days in office. Now, the president’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort of about 6 months is having his bank records being pursued by law enforcement. Both gentlemen are under a cloud of suspicion over their dealings with Russian officials who were intent on interfering in the 2016 US presidential elections.
Here is the rest of the story...
On 5/12/17, Michael Rothfeld, Mark Maremont and Rebecca Davis O’Brien of the Wall Street Journal penned the following report, “Former Trump Adviser Paul Manafort’s Bank Records Sought in Probe.”
The Justice Department last month requested banking records of Paul Manafort as part of a widening of probes related to President Donald Trump’s former campaign associates and whether they colluded with Russia in interfering with the 2016 election, according to people familiar with the matter.
In mid-April, federal investigators requested Mr. Manafort’s banking records from Citizens Financial Group Inc., the people said.
It isn’t clear whether Citizens is the only bank that received such a request or whether it came in the form of a subpoena. Federal law generally requires that a bank receive a subpoena to turn over customer records, lawyers not connected to the investigation said.
“Separately, investigators for New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman as well as Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. also have been examining real-estate transactions by Mr. Manafort, who has spent and borrowed tens of millions of dollars in connection with property across the U.S. over the past decade, people familiar with the matter say. The request for Mr. Manafort’s banking records and the New York inquiries haven’t previously been reported.”
“Mr. Manafort’s spokesman, Jason Maloni, said: “I don’t know anything about a subpoena. But if someone is leaking details of a confidential investigation, that is a serious crime.”
“The Federal Bureau of Investigation has said it is scrutinizing whether Trump associates coordinated with Russian hackers in interfering with last year’s presidential campaign. Those associates include Mr. Manafort, who was Mr. Trump’s campaign chairman for a short time, former national security adviser Mike Flynn, and former advisers Roger Stone and Carter Page, according to the Journal and other outlets. A federal grand jury in Northern Virginia has issued subpoenas for records tied to Mr. Flynn, a person familiar with the matter has said.”
“None of the aides have been charged with any crime. All have denied any wrongdoing. Mr. Trump and his staff have dismissed allegations of Russian collusion and Russia has denied meddling in the election.”
“Mr. Manafort, a longtime political consultant for Republicans in the U.S. and for politicians overseas, has offered to cooperate with and testify before congressional committees investigating potential Russian influence in the election, Mr. Maloni said.”
“Anti-corruption officials in Ukraine, working with the FBI, are investigating a ledger found in Ukraine, where Mr. Manafort long worked as a consultant for a pro-Russia political party. The ledger lists $12.7 million in purported cash payments from that party to Mr. Manafort or affiliated entities, according to Ukrainian officials and a person familiar with the matter. Ukrainian officials have said they have no evidence Mr. Manafort actually received the money, and Mr. Manafort previously has questioned the document’s authenticity.”
“In late March, the Journal reported that Mr. Manafort had borrowed $16 million from a bank run by a former Trump campaign adviser after the election to salvage troubled investments, according to real-estate and court records. Steve Calk, who runs the Federal Savings Bank, a small bank in Chicago, declined to comment on whether his bank had been contacted by federal investigators.”
“The Journal also reported that since the mid-2000s, around the time Mr. Manafort started working as a political adviser to wealthy pro-Russia politicians in the Ukrainian Party of Regions, he and immediate family members bought at least six properties in New York, Florida and Virginia for more than $16 million, property records show.”
“Also in late March, WNYC public radio station reported on Mr. Manafort’s use of corporate entities to purchase multimillion-dollar properties without mortgages, some of which he later took loans against. NBC News reported around the same time that a Cyprus bank had investigated accounts associated with Mr. Manafort for possible money laundering, and that he had closed them after questions were raised.”
“Mr. Manafort, through a spokesman, has said the loans from the former campaign adviser were straightforward and proper. He has said all his real-estate transactions were transparent, including those in which purchases were made through corporate entities that were clearly connected to him. He has said the Cyprus accounts were related to legitimate work there for clients and the accounts were closed due to instability in the banking system. He hasn’t been accused of wrongdoing in connection with any of these matters.”
“In New York, investigators for the Manhattan district attorney’s office and the state attorney general’s office have begun reviewing public records relating to Mr. Manafort’s real-estate and financial transactions, according to people familiar with the matter. The examinations are at a very early stage, they say.”
“Mr. Schneiderman’s office will focus on whether any transactions were used for money-laundering and Mr. Vance’s office is likely to focus on whether there are any indications of fraud, people familiar with the matter said. Messrs. Schneiderman and Vance are both Democrats.”