Donald Trump’s primary advisor for his campaign, Paul Manafort, is slowly being exposed for the shady character that he truly is. Republican leaders have attempted to keep the curtain drawn on the subject, but many of the dealings for which Manafort been has responsible are coming to light for their transgressions. Manafort has earned millions for the Trump campaign through deals he made with both the Ukrainian and Russian governments. All that money was completely undisclosed and seemingly untraceable, but something uncovered recently helped shed light on the dealings.
A set of handwritten ledger books called ‘The Black Ledgers’ were found by the Ukrainian National Anti-Corruption Bureau, or the NACB. These ledgers provide handwritten proof that Manafort was paid roughly $12.7 million by a pro-Russian group within the Ukraine between 2007 and 2012. The payments were made in cash to avoid an electronic trail, which is why they were recorded in a handwritten ledger. The group that paid Manafort was centered around the previous dictator, Viktor F. Yanukovych. He was responsible for helping the dictator come to power, and the Ukrainian people eventually excommunicated the pro-Russian leader.
Richard Hibey is serving as Manafort’s lawyer, and he is asserting that Manafort was not paid in cash at any point. Hibey further claims the allegations against his client are most likely only motivated by political happenings, and that there is absolutely no evidence of the cash payments nor could there be. He believes, or at least claims to believe, that the allegations are merely a smear campaign against his client. He is either an excellent liar or a horrible lawyer, or possibly both. Someone somewhere isn’t telling the truth.
A former official in the Kiev said what was clear to anyone paying attention to the details of the situation. Manafort was responsible for what was happening in the Ukraine, and his corruption was tied to the Yanukovych family. The official questioned how anyone could view the situation as normal or acceptable.
Even though Manafort performs the services of lobbyist, he has refused to register as one for years. Perhaps the reason is that lobbyists are much more scrutinized for their financial dealings with groups outside the US government, foreign or not. Manafort continues to avoid the issue and won’t share any reason for his refusal.
The Black Ledgers were found in a safe that also contained millions of dollars for which there was no record. A former Ukrainian leader claimed the money was meant as payment to various government officials for their silence or specific action. The ledgers themselves contained roughly 400 pages of records, all of which were written in Cyrillic by hand. Manafort can be found inside the Black Ledgers a remarkable 22 times. Despite his involvement being quite difficult to dispute, he continues to deny that he received any money. It isn’t too difficult to determine what is truly going on, and why Manafort would avoid the truth.
The fact that Manafort is now working side-by-side with one of the candidates for President of the United States should be worrisome, and it is to most rational people. There are those out there who support Trump with such gusto that they refuse to see evidence of corruption when it is right before them. More evidence of Trump’s horrible nature has been swept away by his campaign than any other campaign in history, yet he is still the Republican nominee for president. It is very possible that the support of his ardent followers could be his downfall, especially if Trump continues to act as if his words and actions don’t have repercussions.