A former Russian intelligence officer pressured Paul Manafort into paying debts to a Russian oligarch, Time magazine reported Saturday.
When the US government put out its latest sanctions list on Dec. 19, the man named at the top did not seem especially important. Described in the document as a former Russian intelligence officer, he was accused of handling money and negotiations on behalf of a powerful Russian oligarch.
Victor Boyarkin was quoted by the Time as saying that he had connections to Manafort, President Trump's former campaign chairman, during the 2016 election on behalf of a Russian oligarch.
“He owed us a lot of money,” he said. “And he was offering ways to pay it back.”
Boyarkin, a former arms dealer, also told Time that he has been approached by special counsel Robert Mueller over the connection to Manafort.
“I told them to go dig a ditch,” he said.
According to Time, Manafort was in debt to Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, Boyarkin's boss, when he joined the Trump campaign.
Manafort reportedly tried to offer “private briefings” about the presidential race to Deripaska via email to “get whole.”
Mueller released a filing earlier this month that Manafort had lied to the FBI and special counsel about contacts with the White House and an associate with ties with Russia.
Victor Alekseyevich Boyarkin (Boyarkin) is a former GRU officer who reports directly to Deripaska and has led business negotiations on Deripaska’s behalf. Deripaska and Boyarkin were involved in providing Russian financial support to a Montenegrin political party ahead of Montenegro’s 2016 elections.