Serhiy Leshchenko, Member of Ukrainian Paraliament from the Petro Poroshenko Bloc, supplied his explanations to FBI in the frameworks of the case Paul Manafort, President Trump's former campaign chairman, regarding the accusations against him on alleged Ukrainian blackmail attempt on Manafort. Serhiy Leshchenko said that in his interview to Dmitry Gordon on the 112 Ukraine TV channel.
“I gave the explanations to the FBI in this regard, I gave them my e-mail, they could have found confirmation. I also showed it to the American journalists,” he said.
According to Leshchenko, the letters sent from the fake account of his mailbox to blackmail Manafort were a well planned covert operation.
“This was a covert operation, because American journalists from the The New York Times and I checked how the e-mail was created, how the fake account was created with the help of one of my mailboxes that I do not use, but still have the access to it. Spam arrives at that email, and the interaction history goes back as 15 years. We found the letters on creation of the fake account last summer, later someone sent messages to Manafort from it. I can’t say which special forces did that – Russian or Ukrainian, but some one has performed the operation,”’ he added.
The Ukrainian MP also states that he had never communicated with Manafort, had never sent him or members of his family any messages, had never been acquainted to him and had only saw him twice being a journalist.
As we reported earlier, in February 2017, he was accused of attempting to blackmail Paul Manafort through his daughter Jess, threatening to publish evidence that Manafort was receiving funds from Ukraine’s Party of Regions. Then the People's Deputy called this accusation fake, as well as screenshots of correspondence by e-mail.
As it was reported earlier Manafort is considered one of key figures in case of Trump's link with Russia. American investigators hope to encourage him to cooperate with regard to investigating a possible collusion between the Trump campaign members and Russia.
As it is known, in early 2000s Paul Manafort was a consultant to the Ukrainian Party of Regions, the Prime Minister and to president Yanukovych afterwards. The political strategist was also the head of the Trump’s campaign until August 2016, when a scandal with “party’s black accountancy” blazed up in Ukraine. Manafort resigned after media became aware of the fact that he received $12.7 million from the Party of Regions in 2007 – 2012. Paul Manafort himself denies he got $12.7 million from “the black accountancy” of fugitive president Victor Yanukovych.
According to the National Bank of Ukraine, Manafort’s name is mentioned in the documents of the party’s “black accountancy” 22 times.
However Ukraine’s Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office stated that they haven’t found a single proof of Manafort’s involvement into the “black accountancy” of the Party of Regions.