KYIV, Ukraine (AP) – Ukraine has appointed a man who exposed under-the-table payments to U.S. President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort as a senior prosecutor.
Analysts say the appointment Tuesday of Viktor Trepak as deputy national prosecutor this week is Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s attempt to play both sides of the American political divide.
Trump pressed Zelenskiy in a July phone call to investigate Democratic political rivals. The call helped prompt a congressional impeachment inquiry of Trump.
Trepak is seen as an independent figure known for fighting corruption. In 2016 he handed investigators a so-called “black ledger” of secret payments from Ukraine’s former governing party to many prominent people, including Manafort. Manafort says any payments were legitimate. He is now serving prison time on charges related to his political consulting in Ukraine.
Associated Press writer Inna Varenytsia in Kyiv contributed.