Federal investigators have requested the banking records of Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, as part of an ongoing investigation into Russia’s interference in the presidential election, the Wall Street Journal reported late Friday. Sources familiar with the matter were cited as saying the Justice Department filed requests for Manafort’s records from Citizens Financial Group Inc. last month. It was not immediately clear whether any other banks also received such requests. The bank gave Manafort a $2.7 million loan last year to refinance debt on a Manhattan condo, though it wasn’t clear if the loan was connected to the Justice Department’s investigation.
Manafort has faced mounting scrutiny since he left Trump’s campaign last August, with his financial activities and ties to Russia a primary focus. Investigators in New York have been reviewing Manafort’s real estate transactions as part of a separate investigation that has not been previously reported, the Wall Street Journal reported. No further details have been released on that probe. Manafort, who has denied any wrongdoing, stepped down from Trump’s campaign amid revelations he had lobbied for Kremlin-backed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovcych, who was ousted in Kiev’s violent Euromaidan protests in 2014. He is now one of several Trump allies facing scrutiny as part of an FBI investigation into whether Trump's campaign colluded with Moscow in the 2016 election. Manafort’s ties to Russia continued to cause alarm even after his resignation, with the White House forced to distance itself from Manafort after it was learned he worked for Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, a close ally of Putin, in March. In the wake of the latest revelations, a spokesman for the political adviser said he wasn’t aware of banking records being subpoenaed. “I don’t know anything about a subpoena. But if someone is leaking details of a confidential investigation, that is a serious crime,” Jason Maloni was cited as saying by the WSJ.