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Manafort registers as foreign agent

Manafort registers as foreign agent

Neither Paul Manafort nor the lobbying firms registered with the Justice Department as foreign agents working on behalf of the party at the time he was working on President Donald Trump's campaign. | AP Photo

The firm headed by Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, made more than $17 million working as a foreign agent of a Ukrainian political party, according to newly filed disclosure reports.

Trump forced Manafort to step down from his campaign last year after The Associated Press reported that Manafort and another Trump campaign official, Rick Gates, had secretly helped the Ukrainian Party of Regions steer money to two Washington lobbying firms through a nonprofit.

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Neither Manafort nor the lobbying firms registered with the Justice Department as foreign agents working on behalf of the party at the time. The lobbying firms belatedly filed reports in April detailed their lobbying on behalf of the nonprofit, the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine, back in 2012. A Manafort spokesman said at the time that Manafort planned to file similar paperwork.

Jason Maloni, a Manafort spokesman, did not say directly why Manafort didn’t file disclose his activities at the time. Failing to report under the Foreign Agent Registration Act is a felony, but the Justice Department rarely prosecutes violations.

Manafort “started this process in concert with FARA's unit in September, before the outcome of the election and well before any formal investigation of election interference began,” Maloni said in a statement.

“Paul's primary focus was always directed at domestic Ukrainian political campaign work, and that is reflected in today's filing.”

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In the new documents, Manafort says that he gave “strategic counsel and advice to members of the Party of Regions regarding their interaction with U.S. government officials and other Western influential persons to advance the goal of greater political and economic integration between the Ukraine and the West” while working for party from 2012 to 2014. He also advised the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine, “which was also working for the same purpose.”

While Manafort described the Party of Regions as seeking closer ties with the West, the party is widely viewed as pro-Russian. Viktor Yanukovych, the Ukrainian president while Manafort was working in Ukraine and the leader of that party, fled the country in 2014 amid protests against his government’s close ties to Russian.

Manafort’s firm received a total of $17.1 million for his work on behalf of the party, including $12.1 million in 2012, $4.5 million in 2013 and $500,000 in early 2014 before Yanukovych fled the country.

Manafort help elect the party’s candidates in national and regional elections, according to the filing. He was also a “source of information for the U.S. Embassy in Kiev regarding developing events in Ukraine.” In 2012, Manafort’s firm

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Manafort registers as foreign agent

Manafort registers as foreign agent

Neither Paul Manafort nor the lobbying firms registered with the Justice Department as foreign agents working on behalf of the party at the time he was working on President Donald Trump's campaign. | AP Photo

The firm headed by Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, made more than $17 million working as a foreign agent of a Ukrainian political party, according to newly filed disclosure reports.

Trump forced Manafort to step down from his campaign last year after The Associated Press reported that Manafort and another Trump campaign official, Rick Gates, had secretly helped the Ukrainian Party of Regions steer money to two Washington lobbying firms through a nonprofit.

Story Continued Below

Neither Manafort nor the lobbying firms registered with the Justice Department as foreign agents working on behalf of the party at the time. The lobbying firms belatedly filed reports in April detailed their lobbying on behalf of the nonprofit, the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine, back in 2012. A Manafort spokesman said at the time that Manafort planned to file similar paperwork.

Jason Maloni, a Manafort spokesman, did not say directly why Manafort didn’t file disclose his activities at the time. Failing to report under the Foreign Agent Registration Act is a felony, but the Justice Department rarely prosecutes violations.

Manafort “started this process in concert with FARA's unit in September, before the outcome of the election and well before any formal investigation of election interference began,” Maloni said in a statement.

“Paul's primary focus was always directed at domestic Ukrainian political campaign work, and that is reflected in today's filing.”

Sign up for POLITICO Magazine’s email of the week’s best, delivered to your inbox every Friday morning.

By signing up you agree to receive email newsletters or alerts from POLITICO. You can unsubscribe at any time.

In the new documents, Manafort says that he gave “strategic counsel and advice to members of the Party of Regions regarding their interaction with U.S. government officials and other Western influential persons to advance the goal of greater political and economic integration between the Ukraine and the West” while working for party from 2012 to 2014. He also advised the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine, “which was also working for the same purpose.”

While Manafort described the Party of Regions as seeking closer ties with the West, the party is widely viewed as pro-Russian. Viktor Yanukovych, the Ukrainian president while Manafort was working in Ukraine and the leader of that party, fled the country in 2014 amid protests against his government’s close ties to Russian.

Manafort’s firm received a total of $17.1 million for his work on behalf of the party, including $12.1 million in 2012, $4.5 million in 2013 and $500,000 in early 2014 before Yanukovych fled the country.

Manafort help elect the party’s candidates in national and regional elections, according to the filing. He was also a “source of information for the U.S. Embassy in Kiev regarding developing events in Ukraine.” In 2012, Manafort’s firm

...

Manafort registers as foreign agent

Manafort registers as foreign agent

Neither Paul Manafort nor the lobbying firms registered with the Justice Department as foreign agents working on behalf of the party at the time he was working on President Donald Trump's campaign. | AP Photo

The firm headed by Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, made more than $17 million working as a foreign agent of a Ukrainian political party, according to newly filed disclosure reports.

Trump forced Manafort to step down from his campaign last year after The Associated Press reported that Manafort and another Trump campaign official, Rick Gates, had secretly helped the Ukrainian Party of Regions steer money to two Washington lobbying firms through a nonprofit.

Story Continued Below

Neither Manafort nor the lobbying firms registered with the Justice Department as foreign agents working on behalf of the party at the time. The lobbying firms belatedly filed reports in April detailed their lobbying on behalf of the nonprofit, the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine, back in 2012. A Manafort spokesman said at the time that Manafort planned to file similar paperwork.

Jason Maloni, a Manafort spokesman, did not say directly why Manafort didn’t file disclose his activities at the time. Failing to report under the Foreign Agent Registration Act is a felony, but the Justice Department rarely prosecutes violations.

Manafort “started this process in concert with FARA's unit in September, before the outcome of the election and well before any formal investigation of election interference began,” Maloni said in a statement.

“Paul's primary focus was always directed at domestic Ukrainian political campaign work, and that is reflected in today's filing.”

Sign up for POLITICO Magazine’s email of the week’s best, delivered to your inbox every Friday morning.

By signing up you agree to receive email newsletters or alerts from POLITICO. You can unsubscribe at any time.

In the new documents, Manafort says that he gave “strategic counsel and advice to members of the Party of Regions regarding their interaction with U.S. government officials and other Western influential persons to advance the goal of greater political and economic integration between the Ukraine and the West” while working for party from 2012 to 2014. He also advised the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine, “which was also working for the same purpose.”

While Manafort described the Party of Regions as seeking closer ties with the West, the party is widely viewed as pro-Russian. Viktor Yanukovych, the Ukrainian president while Manafort was working in Ukraine and the leader of that party, fled the country in 2014 amid protests against his government’s close ties to Russian.

Manafort’s firm received a total of $17.1 million for his work on behalf of the party, including $12.1 million in 2012, $4.5 million in 2013 and $500,000 in early 2014 before Yanukovych fled the country.

Manafort help elect the party’s candidates in national and regional elections, according to the filing. He was also a “source of information for the U.S. Embassy in Kiev regarding developing events in Ukraine.” In 2012, Manafort’s firm

...

Live blog: Senate Republicans delay vote on health bill

Mike Lee is pictured. | AP Photo

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) heads to a bus for a trip to meet with President Donald Trump at the White House. The senators were invited after the GOP plan to repeal Obamacare started to unravel on June 27, 2017. | John Shinkle/POLITICO

The Senate is pushing back a vote on Obamacare repeal until after the July 4 recess.

By Brianna Ehley

06/26/2017 10:16 AM EDT

Updated 06/27/2017 07:45 PM EDT

2017-06-27T07:45-0400

Senate GOP leaders are delaying a vote on their Obamacare repeal bill after a number of Republican senators signaled they wouldn't support the plan without major changes.

Senate Republican leaders had been hoping to quickly wrap up work on their health bill before lawmakers head home for the July 4 recess. Instead, they'll rewrite the health care legislation during the break and try to smooth over deep internal party divisions as they try to make good on their promise to dismantle Obamacare.

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So far, Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Rand Paul (Ky.), Dean Heller (Nev.), Ron Johnson (Wis.) and Mike Lee (Utah) signaled they would have opposed a key procedural vote required to move the bill forward. A handful of other Republicans had not yet publicly taken a position on the bill.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Vice President Mike Pence are still working to win over Republican holdouts in the aftermath of a Monday evening CBO report projecting 22 million people would be newly uninsured under the GOP plan. Leaders have chips to play with though — there's about $188 billion in savings they can put back into the bill to win back skeptical Republicans. This could include more money for health savings accounts to appease conservatives like Sen. Ted Cruz and Lee, or more Medicaid money dedicated to opioid treatment.

Here’s the latest on the repeal effort:

McConnell defends vote delay, says complex legislation takes time, 2:45 p.m.: McConnell defended his decision to delay a vote on Obamacare repeal until after the July 4 recess, saying the legislation is complex and takes time. "Legislation of this complexity almost always takes longer than anybody would hope," McConnell told reporters at the Capitol. "We're going to press on. We're optimistic that we're going to get a result better than the status quo," he said of Obamacare.

Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters that "no matter how the bill changes around the edges, it is fundamentally flawed in the center."

Collins doubts “any tinkering” to the bill will satisfy her concerns, 2:30 p.m.: The moderate Republican from Maine signaled that slight fixes to the GOP’s Obamacare repeal bill won’t be enough to satisfy her concerns. Speaking to reporters after Senate leaders delayed the vote, Collins said, “I have so many fundamental problems with the bill that have been confirmed by the CBO report that it's difficult for me to see how any tinkering is going to satisfy my fundamental and deep concerns about the impact of the bill.”

The bill was delayed after Senate leaders failed to round

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Republican senators hit by calls from voters worried about Obamacare repeal bill

161024-Mike-Crapo-GettyImages-163564087.jpg

Republican senators’ offices, such as that of Sen. Mike Crapo of Idaho, say they’re getting a flood of calls from voters worried about the GOP Obamacare repeal bill. | Getty

By Diamond Naga Siu

06/27/2017 11:27 AM EDT

Republican senators’ offices say they’re getting a flood of calls from voters worried about the GOP Obamacare repeal bill, potentially further complicating Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s attempt to muscle the legislation through this week.

Chris Gallegos, communications director for Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran, who has so far not staked out a hard position on the legislation, said calls from constituents since the bill's release last week have mainly been negative.

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“Since last Thursday, the Cochran offices have received approximately 224 constituent calls against and two in favor of discussion draft of the healthcare bill,” Gallegos wrote in an email Monday.

The office of Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), who has voiced support for the bill, reported similar call proportions. His communications director, Lindsay Nothern, said the office has also gotten word that there will be an organized protest on Wednesday outside their Boise office to oppose the bill.

“We’ve had several phone calls — there’s still a mix,” Nothern said. “But they probably run stronger against the Republican bill than for it. Most of them want to see changes in the bill.”

He said the majority of calls concerned Medicaid, though Nothern did not specify any numbers when asked.

Jill Gerber, communications manager for Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who has not yet expressed a clear opinion on the bill, also did not provide statistics, though she said Iowans who have reached out expressed various opinions on the topic.

“Grassley’s office has had an uptick in calls since the Senate discussion draft bill came out last Thursday,” Gerber said. “In general, over the past few weeks, there’s been a lot of contact to the office about health care.”

She said some of the people calling were from out of state.

The strong constituent interest comes as the bill appears to be in a precarious position, with at least four Republican senators — Susan Collins of Maine, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Dean Heller of Nevada and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin — signaling they could oppose a key procedural vote that is expected to occur Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday.

That would put the GOP and President Donald Trump well short of the votes needed to advance the bill, and McConnell has indicated he’s ready to move on to tax reform if this Obamacare repeal push collapses.

Democrats, eager to thwart Republicans, have been highlighting the intense concerns from voters worried about Medicaid cuts, premium spikes and coverage losses.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said in an interview Monday with the nonpartisan group Connecticut American Association of Retired Persons that he and his constituents openly oppose the bill.

“When I looked at my phone calls last week, I had received hundreds of calls — I hadn't received a single phone call in favor of

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