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Paul Manafort, who was forced out as your campaign chairman last summer after five months of infighting and criticism about his business dealings with pro-Russian interests, disclosed Tuesday that his consulting firm had received more than $17 million over two years from a Ukrainian political party with links to the Kremlin.
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Trump Campaign Chief’s Firm Got $17 Million From Pro-Russia Party
Paul Manafort, who was forced out as President Trump’s campaign chairman last summer after five months of infighting and criticism about his business dealings with pro-Russian interests, disclosed Tuesday that his consulting firm had received more than $17 million over two years from a Ukrainian political party with links to the Kremlin.
The filing serves as a retroactive admission that Mr. Manafort performed work in the United States on behalf of a foreign power — Ukraine’s Party of Regions — without disclosing it at the time, as required by law. The Party of Regions is the political base of former President Viktor F. Yanukovych, who fled to Russia during a popular uprising in 2014.
The disclosure hints at the vast fortunes available to top American political consultants plying their trade in other countries.
It was not immediately clear if Mr. Manafort would be required to pay any fines for the late filing. He has maintained that a majority of his work for Mr. Yanukovych was political consulting in Ukraine, where his firm, Davis Manafort International, operated an office at the time.
Mr. Manafort’s filing indicates that he was retained by the Party of Regions to help elect national and regional candidates in Ukraine and to liaise with American diplomats in Kiev, the capital, who were monitoring elections there.
“Paul’s primary focus was always directed at domestic Ukrainian political campaign work, and that is reflected in today’s filing,” said Jason Maloni, a spokesman for Mr. Manafort.
But the documents acknowledge that part of his firm’s job was to advise Ukrainian officials in their dealings with American government officials in the United States. The work also included counseling the European Center for a Modern Ukraine, a nonprofit group that once included members of Mr. Yanukovych’s party.
Mr. Manafort’s deputy, Richard Gates, reportedly also oversaw a lobbying campaign in Washington to burnish Ukraine’s image there. But Mr. Manafort has denied that he or Mr. Gates had any formal role in the lobbying campaign, which a spokesman said was managed and paid for by the European Center for a Modern Ukraine.
Tuesday’s filing acknowledges one contact with an American official in the United States: a March 2013 meeting with Representative Dana Rohrabacher, Republican of California, who is known for his pro-Russian views.
The filing also contains details about various contractors, both from the United States and from Ukraine, whom Mr. Manafort employed for the Party of Regions. Mr. Manafort paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to a firm co-owned by a Republican pollster, Tony Fabrizio, who would later work on Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign. Over a two-year period, the firm billed the Party of Regions for more than $2 million in travel and living expenses.
Additionally, the documents show regular payments by Mr. Manafort’s firm to Konstantin V. Kilimnik, who served as the manager of its Kiev office.
The filings do not cover the entire period Mr. Manafort worked in Ukraine. Last summer, The New York Times reported that handwritten ledgers kept by the Party of Regions showed $12.7 million in undisclosed cash payments designated for Mr. Manafort’s firm from 2007 to 2012.
Anticorruption officials in Ukraine asserted at the time that the payments were part of an illegal off-the-books system whose recipients also included election officials. Mr. Manafort, who resigned his campaign post shortly after the article appeared, has denied receiving any cash, and state prosecutors in Ukraine have not accused him of wrongdoing.
The disclosures cap lengthy negotiations with officials at the Justice Department, which monitors activities of Americans who work on behalf of foreign political parties and governments.
Mr. Manafort’s work in Ukraine coincided with large real estate investments he made in the United States, some of which are being scrutinized by federal investigators. He also gave millions of dollars to his two daughters, one of whom, Andrea Manafort, apparently had qualms about how her father had earned the money, according to text messages posted last year on a website used by Ukrainian hackers.
“Don’t fool yourself,” Ms. Manafort wrote to her sister in 2015, referring to protesters’ deaths in anti-Yanukovych uprisings. “That money we have is blood money.”
Correction: June 27, 2017 An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified Viktor F. Yanukovych’s title when he fled Ukraine in 2014. At the time, he was serving as president, not prime minister.