Russians pressured Paul Manafort to repay millions during Trump campaign: Report
A former Russian intelligence officer was pressuring Paul Manafort to pay back millions he owed during the time Manafort was running Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, Time magazine reported Sunday.
The former officer, Victor Boyarkin, demanded Manafort repay the millions he owed to Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, who has close ties to the Kremlin. Both Mr. Boyarkin and Mr. Deripaska have been sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department.
Mr. Boyarkin told Time that Manafort “was offering ways to pay it back.” But the report did not include specifics on what exactly the campaign chairman was offering.
He also told the magazine that he “came down hard” on Manafort.
A Manafort spokesman declined to comment to Time on the report.
Less than two weeks before Mr. Trump became the official Republican nominee, Manafort was offering to brief Mr. Deripaska on the 2016 presidential race, according to media reports last year.
The allegations show that a powerful Russian had leverage over Manafort while he was directing Mr. Trump’s campaign, Time said.
Manafort worked for Mr.Deripaska about a decade ago, providing investment and consulting services. But a 2014 lawsuit filed by Mr. Deripaska alleged Manafort “simply disappeared” with about $19 million of his money, according to Time.
Manafort was convicted in August by an Alexandria, Virginia, federal jury on financial fraud charges. He also pleaded guilty to separate charges in Washington, D.C.
The former Trump campaign chairman was working with special counsel Robert Meuller. Earlier this month, Mr. Mueller accused Manafort of lying to prosecutors, violating his plea agreement.