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Caught Our Eye

Trump-connected Avenue Strategies is foreign agent for ex-Ukraine PM

Posted by Keturah Hetrick on March 15, 2018

A lobbying group with close ties to President Donald Trump has registered as a foreign agent on behalf of Yulia Tymoshenko, a former Ukrainian prime minister who has bad blood with Paul Manafort.

Tymoshenko, who served as prime minister from 2007 to 2010, was jailed by political rival and then-president Viktor Yanukovych from 2010 to 2014. Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort has since been charged with failing to disclose to the Justice Department his work with Yanukovych, which included arranging a report aimed at exonerating Yanukovych for Tymoshenko's imprisonment.

Now, Tymoshenko is paying Avenue Strategies $65,000 per month from Feb. 20 until Aug. 20 for research, public relations, strategic consulting and government relations services, which "may" include communication with Congress and the executive branch, according to a Justice Department disclosure filed on Tuesday.

Barry Bennett is the only Avenue lobbyist so far disclosed on the contract. Bennett, a Trump campaign adviser, co-founded Avenue with former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who has since left the firm.

Avenue is subcontracting the work from Two Paths LLC, which was registered in Delaware last year. Ukrainian-American attorney Marlen Kruzhkov runs the corporation out of his Manhattan luxury coop. Little other information on the company is available publically.