Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s ‘Russian interference’ investigation is zeroing in on former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. Mueller issued new subpoenas to obtain additional financial documents connected to Manafort.
Mueller’s team of investigators has sent subpoenas in recent weeks from a Washington grand jury to global banks for account information and records of transactions involving Manafort and some of his companies, as well as those of a long-time business partner, Rick Gates, according to people familiar with the matter.
The special counsel has also reached out to other business associates, including Manafort’s son-in-law and a Ukrainian oligarch, according to one of the people. Those efforts were characterized as an apparent attempt to gain information that could be used to squeeze Manafort, or force him to be more helpful to prosecutors.
Manafort’s spokesman confirmed that FBI agents raided the political consultant’s home in Virginia two weeks ago to secure documents related to the investigation. That raid was initially reported by the Washington Post.
As prosecutors gather many years of information about his financial affairs, Manafort could be dragged deeper into any number of legal disputes. He has a history of doing business with oligarchs and politicians in Ukraine and Russia that predates his political work for Trump, with payments routed through foreign banks and investments in U.S. real estate.
On Wednesday, the Washington Post reported the FBI raided former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s Alexandria home late last month. A New York Times report alleges the FBI seized “tax documents and foreign banking records.” Following the Washington Post’s report, Manafort’s spokesman issued a statement on the predawn raid.
New York Times reports:
Investigators for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, recently searched the Northern Virginia home of President Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, for tax documents and foreign banking records, a sign that the inquiry into Mr. Manafort has broadened, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The search was carried out at Mr. Manafort’s Alexandria, Va., home shortly after Mr. Manafort met with investigators for the Senate Intelligence Committee on July 25. In that meeting, Mr. Manafort answered questions and provided investigators with notes from a 2016 meeting between Trump campaign officials and Russians claiming to have damaging information on Hillary Clinton.
Mr. Manafort’s spokesman confirmed that an F.B.I. raid had been carried out.
“Mr. Manafort has consistently cooperated with law enforcement and other serious inquiries and did so on this occasion as well,” said Jason Maloni, a spokesman for Mr. Manafort. News of the search warrant was first reported on Wednesday by The Washington Post.
As The Gateway Pundit reported earlier today, the FBI conducted a predawn raid of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s Alexandria home last month. Law enforcement seized documents and other campaign related materials.
Washington Post reports:
Federal agents appeared at Paul Manafort’s home without advance warning in the predawn hours of July 26, the day after he met voluntarily with the staff for the Senate Intelligence Committee.
The search warrant was wide-ranging and FBI agents working with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III departed the home with various records.
The raid came as Manafort has been voluntarily producing documents to congressional committees investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. The search warrant indicates investigators may have argued to a federal judge they had reason to believe Manafort could not be trusted to turn over all records in response to a grand jury subpoena.
It could also have been intended to send a message to President Trump’s former campaign chairman that he should not expect gentle treatment or legal courtesies from Mueller’s team.
The documents included materials Manafort had already provided to Congress, said people familiar with the search.
“If the FBI wanted the documents, they could just ask [Manafort] and he would have turned them over,” said one adviser close to the White House.