Ukraine appoints prosecutor who exposed Manafort case

  • FILE - In this Friday, Oct. 4, 2019 file photo, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy reacts to media questions during Ukraine Belarus forum in Zhytomyr, Ukraine. Three House committees have released dozens of texts between U.S. diplomats in Ukraine discussing how to handle a response to President Donald Trump's demands that the country launch an investigation into Joe Biden's family.

    FILE - In this Friday, Oct. 4, 2019 file photo, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy reacts to media questions during Ukraine Belarus forum in Zhytomyr, Ukraine. Three House committees have released dozens of texts between U.S. diplomats in Ukraine discussing how to handle a response to President Donald Trump's demands that the country launch an investigation into Joe Biden's family. Associated Press

  • FILE - In this Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019 file photo, President Donald Trump meets with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy at the InterContinental Barclay New York hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, in New York. Ukraine's president appears to be playing to both sides of the U.S. political divide, hedging his bets to ensure U.S. financial and military aid keeps flowing no matter who wins next year's election.

    FILE - In this Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019 file photo, President Donald Trump meets with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy at the InterContinental Barclay New York hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, in New York. Ukraine's president appears to be playing to both sides of the U.S. political divide, hedging his bets to ensure U.S. financial and military aid keeps flowing no matter who wins next year's election. Associated Press

  • FILE - In this June 27, 2019 file photo, Paul Manafort arrives in a New York court. President Trump's former campaign manager is to be arraigned on state mortgage fraud charges. Ukraine's president appears to be playing to both sides of the U.S. political divide, hedging his bets to ensure U.S. financial and military aid keeps flowing no matter who wins next year's election.

    FILE - In this June 27, 2019 file photo, Paul Manafort arrives in a New York court. President Trump's former campaign manager is to be arraigned on state mortgage fraud charges. Ukraine's president appears to be playing to both sides of the U.S. political divide, hedging his bets to ensure U.S. financial and military aid keeps flowing no matter who wins next year's election. Associated Press

  • In this handout photo provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ruslan Ryaboshapka speaks to the media in Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, Oct. 4, 2019. Ukraine's Prosecutor General said on Friday that his office is reviewing all the cases that were closed by his predecessors, including several related to the owner of a gas company where former Vice President Joe Biden's son sat on the board. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)

    In this handout photo provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ruslan Ryaboshapka speaks to the media in Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, Oct. 4, 2019. Ukraine's Prosecutor General said on Friday that his office is reviewing all the cases that were closed by his predecessors, including several related to the owner of a gas company where former Vice President Joe Biden's son sat on the board. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP) Associated Press

  • FILE - In this Friday, Oct. 4, 2019 file photo, Ukraine's Prosecutor General Ruslan Ryaboshapka smiles at a briefing in Kyiv, Ukraine. Ukraine's president appears to be playing to both sides of the U.S. political divide, hedging his bets to ensure U.S. financial and military aid keeps flowing no matter who wins next year's election.

    FILE - In this Friday, Oct. 4, 2019 file photo, Ukraine's Prosecutor General Ruslan Ryaboshapka smiles at a briefing in Kyiv, Ukraine. Ukraine's president appears to be playing to both sides of the U.S. political divide, hedging his bets to ensure U.S. financial and military aid keeps flowing no matter who wins next year's election. Associated Press

  • FILE - In this Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019 file photo, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy speaks to media during his press conference in Kyiv, Ukraine. Ukraine's president appears to be playing to both sides of the U.S. political divide, hedging his bets to ensure U.S. financial and military aid keeps flowing no matter who wins next year's election. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP, File)

    FILE - In this Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019 file photo, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy speaks to media during his press conference in Kyiv, Ukraine. Ukraine's president appears to be playing to both sides of the U.S. political divide, hedging his bets to ensure U.S. financial and military aid keeps flowing no matter who wins next year's election. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP, File) Associated Press

  • In this handout photo provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office ,Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy sits inside a military helicopter as he visits an arm exhibition in Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)

    In this handout photo provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office ,Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy sits inside a military helicopter as he visits an arm exhibition in Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP) Associated Press

 
 
Updated 10/9/2019 12:57 PM

KYIV, Ukraine -- 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.

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