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DC Firm Probes Its Ties to Ukraine Group Linked to Manafort

  • VOA News

FILE - Paul Manafort, then chairman of Republican Donald Trump's presidential campaign, talks to reporters on the floor of the Republican National Convention at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, July 17, 2016.

FILE - Paul Manafort, then chairman of Republican Donald Trump's presidential campaign, talks to reporters on the floor of the Republican National Convention at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, July 17, 2016.

A prominent Washington lobbying firm has hired investigators to determine whether it was improperly working with pro-Russian Ukrainian politicians who also employed Paul Manafort, the former chairman of Republican Donald Trump's presidential campaign.

The Podesta Group said Friday that it had hired a law firm to examine its relationship with a not-for-profit European organization that also hired Manafort and was linked to the ousted Ukrainian regime. It said lawyers would look into whether it had been "misled" by the group, called the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine.

“We will take whatever measures are necessary to address this situation," the Podesta Group said, including possible legal action against the group.

The Podesta Group said the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine pledged in writing that none of its activities were controlled or financed by a foreign government or political party. The Podesta Group lobbied lawmakers in Washington for positions favored by the pro-Russian group.

Controversy surrounding Manafort's ties to pro-Russian Ukrainian politicians coincided with his resignation Friday as Trump's campaign manager.

Manafort has been the subject of extensive news coverage over his work for former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich that allegedly involved overseeing millions of dollars in secret payments. Manafort denied that he received any off-the-books cash payments.

CNN reported Friday that FBI and Justice Department prosecutors were investigating whether U.S. companies were used to aid alleged corruption by the party of Yanukovich.

Law enforcement officials told CNN the investigation included the work of Manafort's firm, although they said he was not the focus of the probe. The officials said the investigation was also examining the work of the Podesta Group.

The Podesta Group is run by Tony Podesta, brother of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

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