Paul Manafort — who briefly led Donald Trump’s presidential campaign — is now being investigated over his alleged involvement in a mass murder.
Manafort resigned during Trump’s presidential campaign in August 2016, after it was discovered that he may have illegally received $12 million from Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych. He had allegedly been working for Mr. Yanukovych since 2004 as a consultant. Since then, Manafort has been under investigation by the FBI, CIA, and the National Security Agency amongst reports that Russian intelligence may have interfered with the US presidential election.
In February 2017, Manafort’s daughters Andrea, 31, and Jessica, 34, were hacked resulting in the theft of text messages and emails stored in their personal devices. The hack included messages spanning between October 2012 through September 2016.
In one text, Andrea Manafort said to her sister, “don’t fool yourself, that money we have is blood money.” The New York Daily News reports, Andrea said in another text to her sister, “do you know whose strategy that was to cause that, to send those people out and get them slaughtered?” According to Politico, the texts have been posted to a peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing website.
It is alleged that Ms. Manafort may have been referring to her father’s supposed role in the February 2014 Kiev police shootings, which resulted in the death of approximately 100 civilians deemed as pro-West protesters. Over 500 protesters were also injured as a result of being fired upon by police. Eugenia Zakrevksa, a lawyer with the International Partnership for Human Rights who represents the victims, told CNN she hopes Mr. Manfort will “clarify the allegations.”
In a text with an attached email that was sent to one of his daughters from a third party, Mr. Manafort appears to respond to a mail.ru email account used by Ukrainian MP Serhiy Leshchenko, as the latter had damning evidence of Russian ties against Trump and Manafort. In the same series of texts between the two sisters they described the relationship between Trump and Mr. Manafort as “the most dangerous friendship in America.”
On March 18, CNN reported that Manafort is also wanted for questioning in a corruption case involving his hiring of a law firm to gloss over an alleged money laundering scheme involving Yanukovych’s former Justice Minister. As of this writing, Manafort has not yet been criminally charged.
Steven E. Johnson is a Mississippi-based author who covers racial justice and political issues for the Resistance Report. You can contact him at stevejlive at gmail dot com.