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May 20, 2019

Ex-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort got $10 million loan from sanctioned Russian oligarch

June 29, 2018
Paul Manafort leaves a federal courthouse in Washington. (Andrew Harnik/AP)

A company controlled by beleaguered ex-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort received a $10 million loan from Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch sanctioned by the U.S. government who has close ties to President Vladimir Putin, according to court records unsealed Wednesday.

The revelation was detailed in a search warrant application for Manafort’s Virginia home from last July that provides previously unknown context to the ex-Trump campaign official’s connections to the Kremlin.

The FBI agent who submitted the search warrant application wrote tax returns for Manafort’s company detailed the hefty loan from Deripaska. The application was approved, resulting in special counsel Robert Mueller obtaining important evidence for his case against Manafort.

The unsealed court filing does not make clear when Manafort got the loan or what it was for. A spokesman for Manafort declined to comment.

Manafort, who’s currently in jail awaiting two separate trials, faces a laundry list of charges relating to his shadowy business dealings for pro-Kremlin politicians in Ukraine. Manafort has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska attends an economic forum in Saint Petersburg.
Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska attends an economic forum in Saint Petersburg. (Olga Maltsevaolga/AFP/Getty Images)

The records unsealed Wednesday also reveal Deripaska provided financial support for Manafort when he first started doing consulting work on behalf of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in 2005.

Deripaska, a billionaire metals magnate known to be close with Putin, was included on a list of individuals sanctioned by the Treasury Department in relation for the Kremlin’s interference in the 2016 election. The U.S. intelligence community has unanimously concluded the Russian government meddled in the election to boost President Trump’s campaign while disparaging Hillary Clinton’s.

Mueller has been looking into the financial ties between Deripaska and Manafort as part of his probe into possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and the Kremlin.

Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian operative with ties to the Kremlin’s top spy agency, served as an intermediary between Manafort and Deripaska, according to court records. Kilmnik was indicted along with Manafort earlier this month on obstruction of justice charges over allegedly trying to secure false testimony from potential witnesses.

Trump has tried to distance himself from his former campaign chief in light of his mounting legal woes.

“Manafort has nothing to do with our campaign,” Trump told reporters at the White House earlier this month, even though the Republican strategist headed his presidential bid between June and August 2016.

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