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Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign chairman, may belatedly register as a foreign agent

 (Matt Rourke / Associated Press)
(Matt Rourke / Associated Press)

Paul Manafort, facing mounting questions about his work for pro-Russian interests in the Ukraine, may be belatedly registering as a foreign agent.

Manafort, a onetime campaign manager for Donald Trump, has been in talks with the government about registering under the Foreign Agents Registration Act for some of his past political work, according to a statement from his spokesman, Jason Maloni.

“Mr. Manafort received formal guidance recently from the authorities and he is taking appropriate steps in response to the guidance,” the statement said. “The work in question was widely known, concluded before Mr. Manafort began working with the Trump campaign and was not conducted on behalf of the Russian government.”

Maloni would not answer questions about exactly what work Manafort could disclose.

Manafort worked as a political consultant for ousted Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych, a pro-Russia figure who was driven from office.

Manafort was forced to leave the Trump campaign after investigators in Kiev said they were investigating him for accepting more than $12.7 million in secret payments from Yanukovych’s Party of Regions.

Federal law says U.S. citizens who do work on behalf of other governments must register with the Justice Department, though prosecutors rarely file charges based solely on that law.

Manafort also faces inquiries under congressional and FBI investigations into whether anyone connected with the Trump campaign colluded with Russian government hackers who tried to sway the 2016 presidential election.

He would become the second close Trump advisor pressured to register as a foreign agent. Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security advisor, submitted a registration in March acknowledging that work he did for a Turkish company was also representing the interests of the Turkish government.

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