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Ukraine freezes Manafort cases to avoid angering Trump

Paul Manafort leaving a courthouse
Paul Manafort at a courthouse for an arraignment hearing. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Ukraine has frozen four cases involving President Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort out of fear that continuing the investigations will hurt relations with the Trump administration, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The Ukraine government was worried the cases could impact a pending sale of anti-tank missiles from the U.S., — if the country aids special counsel Robert Mueller in his investigation against Manafort or anyone else close to Trump, the deal would have been called off, the Times reports citing lawmakers.

“In every possible way, we will avoid irritating the top American officials ... We shouldn’t spoil relations with the administration.”
— Volodymyr Ariev, a member of Parliament who is an ally of President Petro O. Poroshenko, readily

The case: "Ukrainian investigators had been tracing money paid to Mr. Manafort and a New York law firm, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, by figures in the political party of Viktor F. Yanukovych, the Russian-leaning Ukrainian president who was ousted by street protesters and fled the country in 2014."

An order from the new Ukrainian government issued last month froze the investigations though they are not closed.