Paul Manafort Hits Back – Accuses Robert Mueller of Illegal Property Search
Trump’s former campaign chair Paul Manafort’s lawyers accused Mueller’s team of illegal property search in a late Friday night court filing.
A search warrant was issued for a storage locker on May 27 which gave the FBI authorization to seize any financial or tax records relating to Manafort or his business partner Rick Gates.
Manafort filed this motion 24 minutes before the deadline, according to Politico reporter Josh Gerstein.
The FBI first got into the Alexandria, Va. storage unit last May with the assistance of an employee who worked at two or more of Manafort’s companies, an agent told the federal magistrate judge who issued the warrant. Then, the agent used what he saw written on so-called Banker’s Boxes and the fact there was a five-drawer filing cabinet to get permission to return and seize many of the records.In a motion filed Friday night in federal court in Washington, Manafort’s defense team contends that the initial entry was illegal because the employee did not not have authority to let the FBI into the locker. The defense also argues that the warrant was overbroad and that agents seizing records went beyond what limits the warrant did set.
“The FBI Agent had no legitimate basis to reasonably believe that the former employee had common authority to consent to the warrantless
initial search of the storage unit,” attorneys Kevin Downing and Thomas Zehnle wrote.
In the new motion, Manafort’s defense asks the judge overseeing the Washington case, Amy Berman Jackson, to rule the search illegal and suppress the evidence the FBI found. Defense attorneys were also facing a deadline Friday to file a motion to suppress evidence found in a search of Manafort’s Alexandria condo in July, but they asked for a last-minute extension until Monday.
“Hopefully you didn’t go to sleep or drink too heavily, because here is the Manafort suppression motion re storage locker. Filed 24 minutes before deadline.”
Hopefully you didn’t go to sleep or drink too heavily, because here is the Manafort suppression motion re storage locker. Filed 24 minutes before deadline. Doc: https://t.co/OmYt5IdUXT
— Josh Gerstein (@joshgerstein) April 7, 2018
According to a Thursday court filing, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has obtained a new search warrant on Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort in March of this year relating to ongoing investigations that are not the subject of either of the current prosecutions.
An August 2nd 2017 memo from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to Special Counsel Robert Mueller surfaced late Monday evening in a court filing. Mueller used the memo to defend his scope of the investigation against a recent motion Manafort filed to dismiss his case.
In the heavily redacted memo, Robert Mueller admits Rosenstein’s order appointing him to Special Counsel was intentionally vague.
“This violates the special counsel law that requires a specific statement of facts to be investigated,” says Attorney Gregg Jarrett.
It was previously reported at Law and Crime that Mueller’s raid on Paul Manafort’s home took place before August 2nd, the date that Rosenstein provided Mueller support for the raid. The FBI reportedly manhandled Manafort and his wife in the early morning raid on July 26th.