By LOUIS FLORES
The real estate transactions of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, which were the subject of questions in a report broadcast two months ago by WNYC 93.9 FM, are now reportedly being scrutinised by the offices of State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D-New York) and District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr., according to a new report broadcast by NPR on Tuesday morning.
During the new broadcast report, WNYC journalist Ilya Marritz said that the two top prosecutors were reportedly investigating Mr. Manafort's purchase of real estate properties, confirming an earlier report in The Wall Street Journal that New York State and Manhattan prosecutors were joining probes into Mr. Manafort's finances. Shell companies reportedly purchased several real estate properties using all cash, and Mr. Manafort later obtained title to the properties, and then he obtained mortgages on the properties, using a cash purchase-transfer-mortgage scheme that has been observed to be used by individuals allegedly engaged in money laundering. Mr. Manafort has denied any wrong-doing. Mr. Marritz described the moves by State Attorney General Schneiderman and District Attorney Vance, Jr., as "a pretty big deal," during the NPR report broadcast on Tuesday.
Reports of the widening prosecutorial investigations into Mr. Manafort's real estate transactions coïncided with news that Federal prosecutors have reportedly sought Mr. Manafort's banking records, according to The Wall Street Journal report.
Many news outlets have reported questions about whether the 2016 campaign of President Donald Trump colluded with Russian interests. Some reports have questioned whether that collusion was undertaken to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, a charge that President Trump has denied. Some Government reform activists have questioned whether, rather than engaging in collusion to influence the election outcome, the Trump campaign, instead, may have engaged in inappropriate business dealings with Russian officials or wealthy Russian business interests, according to information obtained by Progress Queens.
In a move that shocked the conscious of Congress and the public, President Trump last week fired Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey, Jr., in the midst of the reported Federal investigation into allegations that the Trump campaign may have engaged in some form of collusion with Russian interests. Congressional leaders have questioned whether Mr. Comey's firing was undertaken to thwart the Federal investigation into the Trump campaign's alleged ties to Russian officials or business interests.
Some of the latest developments were separately confirmed in a report originated by Bloomberg News and published by Crain's New York Business in which the autonomy of State Attorney General Schneiderman and District Attorney Vance, Jr., both Democrats, were invoked as a cause for concern for Mr. Manafort. "Unlike a probe by the U.S. Justice Department and FBI, the president and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have no authority over New York state investigators scrutinizing whether [Mr.] Manafort broke state laws," adding that State Attorney General "Schneiderman is responsible for enforcing New York’s securities laws under the Martin Act, which gives him broad powers to pursue white-collar crime."
- Schneiderman mum about WNYC reports that questioned Manafort real estate investments in New York [Progress Queens]
- Schiff on alleged Russian election interference : Circumstantial evidence of collusion, direct evidence of deception [Progress Queens]
- Attorney General Sessions requests that U.S. Attorneys appointed by President Obama must tender resignations [Progress Queens]