Despite the best efforts of top Republican leaders, the curtain continues to be pulled back to expose Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s top campaign advisor, Paul Manafort, and his dirty financial dealings with the Russian and Ukraine government which earned the sleazy campaign chief millions of undisclosed dollars. Much of that money helped to put dictators in power, so it is of little surprise why Trump hired him in the first place. Hmm? Let’s examine the facts.
According to Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NACB), handwritten ledgers, dubbed “The Black Ledgers,” have been uncovered which expose Manafort for having received $12.7 million in cash payments from the government of deposed Ukrainian dictator Viktor F. Yanukovych during the time period of 2007 through 2012. Manafort nearly single-handedly brought the pro-Putin Yanukovych to power before he was chased out of his country with pitchforks by citizens who were through with tolerating his corrupt regime. All of the payments Manafort received were completely off the books, hence the handwritten ledger to avoid an electronic trail. Naturally, Manafort’s lawyer, Richard A. Hibey, asserts Manafort did not receive “any such cash payments.” Hibery further slithered in his defense of the slimy Manafort, “These are suspicions and probably heavily politically tinged ones. It is difficult to respect any kind of allegation of the sort being made here to smear someone when there is no proof and we deny there ever could be such proof.” Right. And I have some Trump brand snake oil to sell you too, but the proof Mr. Hibey says does not exist is in the proverbial pudding.
Vitality Kasko, a former senior prosecuting official in the Kiev general prosecutor’s efforts laid out what is obvious to anyone with a drop of common sense, “He (Manafort) understood what was happening in Ukraine. It would have to be clear to any reasonable person that the Yanukovych clan, when it came to power, was engaged in corruption. It’s impossible to imagine a person would look at this and think, ‘Everything is all right.’”
If Manafort has nothing to hide and the overwhelming evidence against him is faulty, why has Manafort refused to register as a lobbyist for decades? The question lingers and Manafort has vehemently refused to clarify this point.
Manafort’s defense lay in the substance of “The Black Ledgers” which are all handwritten in Cyrillic and span around 400 pages. The ledgers were found by the Ukranian NACB in a room with a safe literally stuffed with millions of unaccounted for dollars. The money was used to pay government officials for favors according to Tara V. Chornovil, a former Ukranian party leader, who said, “This was our cash. They had it on the table, stacks of money, and they had lists of who to pay.” Manafort was on these lists, a ridiculous 22 times over a five-year span. Yet he and his lawyer deny his involvement? The writing is on the wall for anyone with the cognitive problem solving of a child who has the ability to put two and two together.
Naturally, Trump’s supporters will brush this, along with all other pieces of evidence against his despicable campaign, under the rug. They do so to their own detriment, like lemmings being led to the edge of a cliff. Hopefully, individuals around the nation and world will wake up to the dirty dealings of Trump and his counterparts before it is too late, because if they don’t we will all suffer the disastrous and obvious repercussions.
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Lou Colagiovanni is an investigative journalist living in Las Vegas who specializes in politics and crime. His work has been highlighted all over the world and he is regularly featured on television and radio.