Paul Manafort Was Being Pressured By Russians To Pay Back Millions, ‘Time’ Reports

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Paul Manafort is sitting in prison after a jury found him guilty on multiple counts of tax and bank fraud charges, but the worst may be yet to come. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election continues to roll on, and as Inquisitr notes, Manafort is now being accused of breaching his plea agreement by lying to investigators.

Out of the numerous Trump campaign officials Inquisitr reported with connections to Russia, former campaign chairman Manafort’s were by far the deepest. Manafort was forced to resign from the campaign leading up to the election after his political consulting work for Russia-backed Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych was revealed.

Inquisitr covered some of the scandalous revelations that followed showing just how deep his ties to powerful Russian billionaires ran. Now Time is reporting a former spy was actively trying to collect millions in debt from Manafort while he ran the Trump presidential campaign.

Time tracked down Victor Boyarkin, described as a former arms dealer and spy who worked for Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska. Per an earlier Inquisitr report, lawyers representing Deripaska filed a lawsuit against Paul Manafort in 2014 after he “simply disappeared” with approximately $19 million of Deripaska’s money. Boyarkin was tasked with collecting outside of the court system.

When Manafort surfaced in 2016 at the head of Trump’s campaign, emails show he offered Deripaska “private briefings” on the presidential race to “get whole.”

“He owed us a lot of money,” Boyarkin told Time. “And he was offering ways to pay it back.”

“I came down on him hard.”

Time‘s report into Manafort’s work for Deripaska paints a disturbing portrait of how oligarchs shape the affairs of European countries. After buying an aluminum smelting plant in Montenegro that constituted a sixth of the country’s economy, Deripaska funded an independence movement that saw the Balkan state separate from Serbia in 2006. Manafort was on the team tasked with ensuring international support for the move, which passed via referendum with 55 percent of the vote.

But things between Deripaska and Montenegro went south after the country seized back the aluminum smelter in 2014 and declared their intent to join NATO. Time reports Deripaska started funding pro-Russian opposition parties as a response. And as soon as Paul Manafort had resigned as Trump’s campaign chairman, he started meeting those opposition party leaders offering his services as a political consultant.

One of those leaders Manafort met in person with, Nebojsa Medojevic, is currently on trial for money laundering in what Montenegro now describes in this Politico piece as an attempted coup by Russian agents. While the Time report was unable to verify just how involved Manafort was in the 2016 effort to bring Montenegro back under Russia’s influence, it’s certainly not a good association for someone being actively investigated for subverting American democracy.