Manafort offered services to Poroshenko in 2014, but they were rejected – MP Hryniv
American political consultant Paul Manafort offered his services to presidential candidate Petro Poroshenko's team in 2014, but was rejected, member of the Petro Poroshenko Bloc parliamentary faction Ihor Hryniv, who served as deputy head of Poroshenko's 2014 election campaign, has said.
"Did I meet with Manafort in 2014? Yes, I did. Did he say he would like to work in the [election] campaign? Yes, he did… How long did the meeting last? Let's say, three hours. And everything ended there," Hryniv told the Kyiv-based Interfax-Ukraine news agency on Wednesday.
Asked whether Manafort's offer was rejected, Hryniv said, "Yes, his offer was rejected."
Speaking about the reasons for turning down Manafort's services, Hryniv responded: "I do not want to offend anyone, but the proposal was not accepted ... And secondly, let's still clearly understand that this was unacceptable. I really believe not only Yanukovych should answer for everything that happened in the country [when ex-President Viktor Yanukovych was president]," Hryniv said.
Western media earlier reported that Tad Devine, the first witness in the case against Manafort, told the court on July 31 that Manafort's partner, Richard Gates, proposed he work for Poroshenko. In turn, Gates said in court that Manafort assisted Poroshenko during the pre-election campaign in 2014.
As earlier reported, two cases have been initiated against Manafort, one in the Federal District Court of Alexandria (Virginia, U.S.) and the second in the District Court of the Capital District of Columbia.
Manafort is accused of tax evasion exceeding $30 million during the period when the lobbyist worked for Ukraine's Party of Regions and disgraced ex-President Viktor Yanukovych.
U.S. prosecutors allege Manafort did not pay U.S. taxes on millions of dollars, which he received from the Ukrainian government and Ukrainian oligarchs. These funds were paid to Manafort for his work for Yanukovych. After Yanukovych fled the country in 2014, Manafort's income dried up, according to the daily British newspaper The Guardian.
According to western media, Manafort can be sentenced to 305 years of imprisonment in the event that he is found guilty of all the charges brought against him.
Charges against Manafort were put forward in the framework of the investigation headed by U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who has been tasked with investigating Russia's possible meddling in the U.S. 2016 presidential election and other crimes.