Consultant linked to Manafort admits funnelling Ukrainian oligarch’s money to Trump campaign

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Republican political consultant linked to Paul Manafort and Cambridge Analytica funneled $50,000 from a Ukrainian oligarch to Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration committee, authorities said on Friday.

The Guardian reports Sam Patten paid the money to an American “straw purchaser” on behalf of the unnamed oligarch in return for four tickets to Trump’s inauguration in January 2017, prosecutors said in a court filing. Patten was reimbursed by the oligarch. The inauguration committee was not allowed to accept money from foreigners.

The disclosure came as Patten, 47, admitted to illegally lobbying in the US for pro-Russia politicians from Ukraine.

Patten pleaded guilty on Friday to working as an unregistered agent for the Ukrainian political party Opposition Bloc, which also employed Manafort, the former chairman of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Patten, 47, was charged with one count of violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act (Fara) for work he carried out from 2014 to this year. He was released on bail by Judge Amy Berman Jackson following a hearing.

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