A Ukrainian human rights lawyer has reportedly requested an investigation into what appear to be text message conversations between Paul Manafort’s daughters suggesting their President Trump-connected father had a hand in the bloody mass killings carried out by Ukrainian security forces in 2014.
Manafort was ousted from his role as Trump’s campaign manager over the summer just a few days after it was revealed that he might have received over $12 million in illegal payments from disgraced Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.
Last month, an anonymous hacker website published roughly 300,000 text messages that were supposedly sent between Manafort’s daughters, Andrea and Jessica, and the accusations in the apparent conversations are harsh.
“You know he has killed people in Ukraine? Knowingly,” Andrea Manafort apparently wrote to her sister in March 2015, referring to their father’s alleged role in the February 2014 police shootings in Kiev that killed over 100 pro-Western protesters in the weeks leading up to Yanukovych’s escape.
Yanukovych, who’s closely connected to President Vladimir Putin, has been hiding in Russia since he fled his home country after his ouster on Feb. 22, 2014. He remains wanted on charges of high treason.
In another text to her sister, Andrea Manafort supposedly claimed that their father was behind the “strategy” that Yanukovych allegedly implemented in order to have his security forces kill dozens of protesters in Kiev’s Independence Square.
“Do you know whose strategy that was to cause that, to send those people out and get them slaughtered,” Andrea Manafort supposedly wrote to her sister, referring to their father.
“He has no moral or legal compass,” she added.
Eugenia Zakrevska, a human rights attorney representing the victims of the Kiev killings, submitted a motion on Thursday calling on prosecutors to look into whether the hacked texts are authentic.
“I call on Mr. Manafort to clarify the allegations contained in the text messages and to contact us with any information he may have on those events,” Zakrevska told CNN on Friday.
Ukraine’s special investigations prosecutor Serhiy Gorbatyuk, confirmed that the texts will be probed and potentially submitted as evidence. “We will check thoroughly to verify if they are real or not,” Gorbatyuk told CNN.
Neither of Manafort’s daughters returned requests for comment from the Daily News on Friday. But their father indicated to Politico last month that some of the texts were indeed authentic.
Manafort remains under investigation by several U.S. intelligence agencies over alleged kickbacks from the Kremlin-connected Yanukovych. The ex-Trump associate started working for Yanukovych in 2004 and continued to work for him even after his ouster.
Manafort is among a number of Trump associates under investigation for alleged ties to the Kremlin. Meanwhile, there’s bipartisan support in Congress for an independent investigation into the Trump administration’s apparent Russia ties.
In the texts to her sister, Andrea Manafort apparently also claimed their father was no stranger to using under-the-radar tricks to communicate with Yanukovych officials.
“I was there when it happened. I saw him on his shady email,” she allegedly texted. “They don’t write emails. They log on and write in the drafts So it’s never transmitted over any servers.”