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Paul Manafort of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's staff listens during a round table discussion on security at Trump Tower in the Manhattan borough of New York. Photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters

Manafort secretly paid foreign politicians to lobby for Ukraine, new Mueller indictment says

Special counsel Robert Mueller is accusing President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman of secretly paying former European politicians to lobby on behalf of Ukraine.

The new allegation against Paul Manafort comes in a newly unsealed indictment made public Friday. The indictment followed a guilty plea by Manafort’s longtime business associate, Rick Gates.

The indictment accuses Manafort of paying the former politicians, informally known as the “Hapsburg group,” to appear to be “independent” analysts when in fact they were paid lobbyists. Some of the covert lobbying took place in the U.S.

The indictment says the group was managed by a former European chancellor. Court papers accuse Manafort of using offshore accounts to pay the group more than 2 million euros.

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