Politics Manafort-linked lobbying firm registers as foreign agent

02:31  29 april  2017
02:31  29 april  2017 Source:   Associated Press

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Two lobbying firms said they were registering as agents of a foreign government in connection with lobbying that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort helped organize five years ago for the then-Ukrainian government.

President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman is registering as a foreign agent . Paul Manafort 's spokesman says he was in talks with the A Washington lobbying firm that worked under the direction of two former Trump campaign advisers has registered with the Justice Department as a

FILE - In this July 17, 2016, file photo, then Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort talks to reporters on the floor of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. The registration by Mercury LLC comes as the Justice Department waits for Paul Manafort, to file as a foreign agent and disclose his role in influencing U.S. policy and public opinion on behalf of the pro-Russian Ukrainian Party of Regions. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this July 17, 2016, file photo, then Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort talks to reporters on the floor of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. The registration by Mercury LLC comes as the Justice Department waits for Paul Manafort, to file as a foreign agent and disclose his role in influencing U.S. policy and public opinion on behalf of the pro-Russian Ukrainian Party of Regions. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

WASHINGTON — A Washington lobbying firm that worked under the direction of Paul Manafort and another former campaign aide to President Donald Trump registered Friday with the Justice Department as a foreign agent — the same day a spokesman for Manafort backed off his previous statement that Manafort would also register.

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Manafort expected to register as foreign agent for past Ukraine work. Who's who in Trump-Russia saga. Holland and Knight, a Washington lobbying and law firm , however, warns against lobbyists choosing LDA as a matter of convenience.

A lobbying firm closely allied with Hillary Clinton has registered as a foreign agent for a Ukrainian organization with ties to Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin. Paul Manafort , the former campaign chairman for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign

Jason Maloni, a spokesman for Manafort, said he was wrong when he told The Associated Press earlier this month that Manafort would register with the Justice Department. Maloni said Manafort is still considering his options after receiving guidance from the Justice Department about formally disclosing his efforts to influence U.S. policy and public opinion on behalf of a foreign client.

As of Friday, both of the lobbying firms involved in the influence campaign on behalf of Ukrainian interests have acknowledged that their work should have been disclosed to the Justice Department. The AP reported in August that Manafort's consulting firm covertly orchestrated the lobbying and public opinion operation on behalf of a pro-Russian political party, the Ukrainian Party of Regions, and its leader, former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

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A lobbying firm closely allied with Hillary Clinton has registered as a foreign agent for a Ukrainian organization with ties to Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin. Paul Manafort , the former campaign chairman for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign

A Washington lobbying firm that worked under the direction of Paul Manafort and another former campaign aide to President Donald Trump has registered with the Justice Department as a foreign agent .

The latest registration came Friday from Mercury LLC, which disclosed that Manafort was involved in its lobbying work, attending meetings with Mercury managing partner Vin Weber.

In a statement to The AP, Maloni downplayed Manafort's involvement as it was detailed in Mercury's filing. "One meeting with one lawmaker connected to this topic in a two-year period looks like incidental contact to fair-minded Americans," Maloni said, referring to a meeting Manafort had with Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif. That was one of four meetings detailed in the filing. Emails obtained by The AP show that Manafort's firm and his deputy Rick Gates, also a Trump campaign aide, directed Mercury's efforts. Those emails are not disclosed in Mercury's filing.

Mercury had announced earlier this month that it would register for the work after another lobbying firm, The Podesta Group, had registered. The Podesta Group acknowledged its work could have benefited the Ukrainian government and should have been disclosed to the government under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

Former Trump aide calls Russia probe 'comically fake' .
A Senate committee investigating Moscow's interference in last year's election has asked several of President Donald Trump's associates to turn over information about possible contacts with Russian officials or businessmen. Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, Republican strategist Roger Stone and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort are also among those the Senate intelligence committee has asked for information and documents related to its investigation.

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