New York Times sues Justice Department for documents on Manafort’s foreign lobbying

The New York Times is suing the Justice Department for records on Ukrainian and pro-Russian lobbying. The Times first filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the documents in August 2017 but had not received any response. Of particular interest is correspondence between the Justice Department and a Ukrainian pro-Russian political party that paid Paul Manafort $750,000 for lobbying work. Manafort later worked as chair of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. (Courthouse News Service, March 9, 22018, by Josh Russell)

The Justice Department asked a New York law firm in September of 2017 for records of its work arranged by Manafort justifying the imprisonment in Ukraine of  a leader opposed to the regime of the pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukavych, since deposed and fled to Russia. The Justice Department presumably made the requests in connection to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Manafort and his role in Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.  (The New York Times, September 21, 2017, by Kenneth P. Vogel and Andrew E. Kramer)